Blog Post

When your workplace hosts an event, the waste needs may be different from your day-to-day operations. With some planning, you can reduce waste and ensure that materials from your event are recycled. Events are also a good opportunity to collect food scraps for composting if your business does not do so already.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) recently published a new resource, Tips for Waste Reduction at Workplace Events, which offers guidance on how to plan for waste prevention, recycling, and food waste diversion at your next workplace event. This resource describes the essential steps to take before, during, and after an event that will help ensure success.

Following this guidance can prevent unnecessary waste and maximize the materials from your event that are collected for recycling and composting. When you host a workplace event off-site, this resource can also serve as a guide for the conversation with the off-site venue to clearly communicate your waste reduction goals.

Here are just a few important tips covered in the new resource:

  • Provide reusable serviceware, avoid single-serving condiments, and serve drinks in pitchers or dispensers to cut down on disposable and heavily packaged items.
  • Require frequent updated headcounts prior to the event, and on the day of the event, to ensure you have the appropriate, but not excessive, amount of food.
  • Discuss waste needs with your hauler, and ask whether specific materials from your event are accepted as recyclable or compostable.
  • Never put compostable items in the recycling bin.
  • Create signage using both graphics and text to indicate what goes in each bin and what does not.
  • Coordinate in advance with a food pantry or food rescue organization to donate surplus food.
  • If you implemented recycling and/or food waste collection for the first time at an event, consider adding this to your regular business operations.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts is a recycling assistance program designed to help businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities. For additional assistance implementing a recycling or food waste diversion program at your business or institution, please contact RecyclingWorks at 888-254-5525 or email

Click the image below to view the full resource