Zero Waste Your Way Through Summer

Recycling, Composting, and Landfill Bins at Events

San Francisco's goal is to reach zero waste by 2020. We’re counting on you to help us! When you attend events, reduce waste and champion re-usables, composting, and recycling.

Upcoming Events

Champion Zero Waste

  • Encourage events to improve their zero waste practices. Fill out this form and SF Environment can provide recycling and composting assistance.
  • Support events that make composting and recycling easy. Take a picture and email it to [email protected]. Include a brief note about what you saw and where, and we'll post the best on our social media channels. 

Reduce waste at events you attend

  • Take a pledge to “Pack-It-In, Pack-It-Out” – hold onto all the items you bring, including compostables, recyclables, and trash, and take them back home where you can properly deposit those items in the right bins.
  • Avoid using plastic wrap and plastic sandwich bags to package food and snacks. Use reusable Tupperware, glass containers, or compostable or recyclable food packaging like deli paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil.
  • Bring your own reusables! Avoid pre-packaged and individually wrapped condiments and utensils.

Have your own zero waste event

  • For events you organize, designate zero waste monitors to facilitate guests with sorting their discards.
  • Create your own composting and recycling signs with the Zero Waste Signmaker.
  • Want more ideas to conserve resources? See what else you can do!

Zero Waste Summer Events from 2011

These events have had a diversion rate of 60% or more. Diversion rate is the percent of discarded materials which are composted and recycled, rather than sent to landfill. 

  • J-Pop Summit Festival - 96% of materials composted and recycled
  • Outside Lands - 73% of materials composted and recycled
  • Nihonmachi Street Fair - 72% of materials composted and recycled

Why Zero Waste?

  • For every 100 pounds of goods it takes an equivalent of 7,000 pounds of resources to create those goods. The finished product we hold in our hands is only the “tip of the wasteberg.” The extraction, refining, manufacturing, and transportation of resources is the rest of the wasteberg that we do not see.
  • Waste disposal is expensive. Sending materials to the landfill costs money, especially when we don’t separate our valuable compostables and recyclables from the landfill bins. Compostable materials can be transformed into healthy compost for local farms. Recyclables can be re-manufactured into new products, without having to extract more virgin resources from our earth.
  • Landfills contribute to climate change. When food scraps end up in the landfill, they emit methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that is 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide for its global warming potential.