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Entertainment events - Info

Waste, recycling and litter control


This content is designed as a guide only to provide event operators with relevant information regarding adequate management of waste and litter control. You can find more detailed information in the Best practice guidelines for event delivery in Queensland which includes a section on waste.

Events can generate a considerable amount of waste through catering and other activities. Event operators must ensure waste is managed, during and after the event, to prevent unsanitary conditions and environmental harm, such as litter entering waterways. A waste management plan must be considered as part of your event application to Council.

Solid waste such as rubbish and food waste has a high risk of nuisance, as well as infestation by vermin, if not adequately controlled. Event operators must provide an adequate number of rubbish bins with lids, with regular emptying as often as needed to prevent infestation and overflow.


Waste and litter management

Waste management at events involves reducing, re-using and recycling.

Events must have suitable and adequate facilities for the storage and collection of solid waste and recyclables that are easily identifiable and accessible by patrons, food vendors and waste collectors.


Litter management

Litter, especially broken glass, is unhygienic and can cause serious injuries. It may even be used as a weapon or missile. The following must be considered as part of a managing litter plan for your event:

  • “no glass” policy
  • containers provided specifically for the disposal of glass, sharp objects, and separate syringe disposal unit/s
  • collection and disposal of litter regularly throughout the event
  • relocation of bins from low use to high demand areas
  • covering of bulk bins to contain waste and prevent scavenging by birds
  • covering of bulk bins to prevent wind-blown litter from covering entrances to stormwater drains (must have gauze/mesh where there is a chance of litter gaining access to drains).

An event involving animals will require the provision of appropriate equipment and sealed bags/containers for the immediate collection of any animal droppings. Animal droppings must not be disposed of in garden beds.


During the event

All waste generated by the event must be collected and disposed of in a manner which maintains the area in a clean, tidy, sanitary and hygienic condition. You can manage waste during your event by:

  • clearly labelling recycling and waste bins
  • arranging public announcements on waste and recycling facilities
  • emptying waste bins at regular intervals into bulk bins
  • using bins liners in all waste bins
  • engaging trained personnel for site litter and bin management
  • monitoring waste and recycling bins for minimal or high use, and providing additional bins if necessary
  • advising stallholders of waste management requirements
  • ensuring food scraps or offensive waste are disposed of in lidded bins.


After the event

Waste can be controlled after the event by:

  • completing site clean-up of all litter and disposing into appropriate bins
  • placing waste containers in agreed location for collection (waste bins and recycle bins should be grouped separately to allow access by contractors)
  • closing lids on any bulk bins.


Bin placement

The number and placement of bins, as well as the bins themselves, influences whether people will use the bins and recycle items.

How people move around and use a site determines the optimal placement of bins (the distance people are prepared to walk to throw waste in a bin is considered to be six metres).

Bins should be placed:

  • in accessible points close to where patrons pass by
  • where people enter and exit
  • for the convenience of the user, rather than the collector
  • where they can be effectively emptied and serviced, especially in peak periods
  • where patrons may gather to view displays, rides, etc.
  • away from services and building structures such as fire exits, walls and congested pedestrian areas
  • where items are likely to be thrown away, not where they are bought, such as near entrances and exits, within eating areas, near toilets, walkways and car parks.



Recycling forms part of everyday activities in most homes and people often look to recycle in all places they visit. Implementing recycling as part of waste management for your event can lead to cost savings in reduced packaging, as well as environmental benefits in reduced littering.

Caterers and food vendors can recycle and reduce packaging at events by:

  • re-using items where possible, such as non-disposable cutlery and crockery
  • segregating recyclables, such as bottles, cans, cartons, organics, rubbish, paper and cardboard, corks and food oil (cardboard boxes should be flattened)
  • informing staff and suppliers on the importance of minimising waste, including packaging of food and quantities of serviettes
  • providing food and drinks in recyclable containers, such as non-plasticised paper plates and cups, glass, cans and PET plastic bottles and using recyclable packaging such as cardboard boxes (polystyrene and waxed cardboard are not recyclable).

Where food and beverages are supplied in recyclable packaging, recycle bins must be provided for patron use especially near food areas. Recycle bins must be placed side-by-side with waste bins not back-to-back.

Waste and recyclable materials from stalls should be separated and contained “back of house” and not placed in bins at recycling stations.