Zero-Waste Events

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Zero-Waste Events

Eureka Recycling volunteers at Rock the Garden

Eureka Recycling works with event planners around the Twin Cities to create zero-waste events! On average, these events results in over 94% of all the discards at events being recycled or composting. Some events achieve diversion rates as high as 99%!

How zero-waste events work
Would you like to volunteer?
Interested in making your event zero-waste?

Eureka Recycling volunteers at the MN State Fair

Eureka Recycling has partnered with events big and small, including local block parties, Walker Art Center’s Rock the Garden, the Living Green Expo, New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat, the Minnesota State Fair, and more.

Zero waste is possible!

These zero-waste events result in only a fraction of the discards generated at typical events. According to a 2006 California study, a typical event generates four pounds of trash per person.

Compare this to an average zero-waste event—which generates less than 1/3 pound of recycling and composting per person and less than 1 ounce of trash per person—and you begin to see that zero waste isn’t just an idea…it’s a powerful reality.




family at zero-waste eventThe Benefits of Zero Waste

Trash doesn’t just go away. When we “throw out” or waste our resources, they are sent to an incinerator to be burned or a landfill to be buried, creating harmful pollutants. In addition to protecting our environment, zero-waste events are a powerful way to change people’s perceptions of trash.

At events people are exposed to the possibility of a world without waste in a tangible and memorable way. In 2010, 71,000 people in the Twin Cities experienced an event with virtually no waste. The strategies we use to make events zero-waste are the same as the strategies we can use to create zero-waste businesses, homes and entire communities.

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How Zero-Waste Events Work

Eureka Recycling’s professional zero-waste event services include comprehensive planning, support, service, and reporting to help event planners reach the goal of no waste. Zero-waste events require much more than putting out containers for recycling and composting.

Careful planning
Eureka Recycling works with event organizers weeks, even months, before the event to rethink all the materials that will be at the event—from decorations to food to the packaging that things come in—to dramatically reduce the amount of overall disposable materials used at the event. This step also increases the percentage of those materials than can be recycled or composted, as event organizers, vendors and exhibitors change their purchasing choices.

Eureka Recycling volunteer Aki Shibata

In 2010, over 400 volunteers helped us educate event-goers. Learn more about volunteer Aki Shibata, one of our zero-waste heroes!

On the ground support and education
Eureka Recycling’s experienced staff members are present at events to implement the waste reduction strategies that are planned. In addition, volunteer educators are a crucial part of zero-waste events, helping event participants see waste in a whole new way.

Service and reporting
Once planning, volunteers, and education are in place, an event is finally ready for containers to collect materials for recycling, composting, and any incidental trash. After the event, Eureka Recycling tracks materials from the event to the recycling or composting facility and provides a post-event report. This report details the results of the zero-waste efforts and is often used as a springboard for future events and to tell people about the success of the event.

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Eureka Recycling volunteer at Rock the GardenWould you like to volunteer?


Interested in a fun way to learn more about zero waste? Eureka Recycling is always looking for volunteers to to explain to people how to properly recycle and compost at zero-waste events. To volunteer or for internship opportunities, contact us.



Interested in making your event zero-waste?

If you are interested in using Eureka Recycling’s professional zero-waste event services, contact us at (651) 222-7678.

Small events, such as business meetings, birthday parties, and weddings, can be waste free by planning ahead and using these simple tips. We highly recommend that you work with a restaurant, caterer, or grocery store that is already composting since they will have a clearer understanding of your goals and needs.


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Last Update: December 2010

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