San Francisco Department of the Environment

Mandatory Zero Waste Event Training

San Francisco event producers are required to attend a free zero waste event training.

This workshop will cover updates on new requirements for events, a review of San Francisco's zero waste ordinances, an overview of the events auditing process, and best practices to promote sustainability at your event. Learn how to comply with zero waste event requirements, introduce reusables at your events and network with other event producers & vendors!

Event planners must attend a Zero Waste Events Training, which are hosted every third Wednesday of each month, before ordering refuse service from Recology. Please plan accordingly and reservce your ticket(s) now on Eventbrite

If you cannot attend a mandatory Zero Waste Events Training before your event date, please message freddy[email protected] 

Who Should Attend:

  • Event producers, caterers, clean-up crews, and other vendors
  • Applicants of street closure permits with SFMTA
  • Applicants of facility use permits with the Recreation and Park Department or any other city of San Francisco permitting agencies**

Concepts covered include:

  • Mandatory Composting and Recycling requirements
  • Event food ware, packaged water, and hydration stations,
  • Recology event services and debris box rentals
  • Separation compliance (Sorting and contamination protocols)
  • Event greening services
  • Food waste reduction and food recovery at events
  • Discussion on single-use and reusables at events
  • Implementation of the 10% reusable cup requirement (Effective 2020)
  • Zero Waste Resources for Event Producers
  • NEW! Implications of a failed event refuse audit

NEW! Implications of a Failed Event Auidt:

Please take proactive action to ensure proper recycling and composting separation and waste reduction at your event to prevent a failed refuse audit. Event producers with failed refuse audits are subject to the implications below: 

  • Removal of Diversion Discount (Recovery Discount): The recovery discount is a cost reduction based on an event's recycling and composting rate. In instances of excessive contamination, the recovery discount will be revoked. 
  • Contamination Charge up to 100%: Events are subject to a contamination charge of up to 100% for each contaminated stream. This is a percentage adition to your initial Recology rate. 
  • Submittal Zero Waste Event Plan: The Zero Waste Event Plan is a worksheet outlining a corrective course of action. The Plan must be submitted to [email protected] at least 7 days in advance of the event producer's next event. You can access the Zero Waste Plan in advance by requesting it from Recology or the SF Department of the Environment. 

**This training is required for all event producers applying for permits through SF Recreation and Parks Departatment, Port of SF, SFMTA or any other City of San Francisco agency. Event producers wanting to know how to comply with SF legislation related to events are also invited.

All attendees will receive a Zero Waste Event Certification. Networking opportunities following the training.

Contact the Zero Waste team or call (415) 355-3700 for more information.



Additional Resources
Can I create my own recycling and composting signs?
Zero Waste Checklist for Events 
Restroom Paper Towel Compost Sticker (PDF)
Approved Recyclable and Compostable Food Service Ware (PDF)

Please contact the Zero Waste team or call (415) 355-3700 for more information.

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