San Francisco Department of the Environment

Zero Waste Your Party

Follow these easy steps to reduce, reuse, and recycle during your next party.

Buy What You Need, Borrow the Rest

  • Double check your cupboard so you don’t buy more food than you need.

  • Use durable dishes and utensils instead of one-time use dishware and utensils.

  • Avoid hard to recycle packaging like mylar packaging (chip bags).

  • Borrow big platters or extra utensils from your friends or neighbors.

Set Up Your Bins for Success

  • Make your own Recycling, Composting, and Landfill signs with the Signmaker!

  • Keep all three bins are close together for easy access.

  • Consider using a large compost bin so all compostables end up in the right bin.

Recycling and Composting Cheat Sheet


  • Glass bottles and jars

  • Plastic bottles, jugs, utensils, and straws

  • Metal containers and aluminum foil

  • Paper and cardboard

  • Aseptic containers - off the shelf (non-refrigerated) liquids containers


  • All food scraps including meat, bones, and cheese

  • Food-soiled paper, such as butcher paper and paper towels

  • Toothpicks and wooden skewers

  • Plastics labeled “compostable”


  • Chip bags