9. Waste

This subject investigates how to prevent waste from being created in the first place and optimally managing that which is.

Events create waste. People buy stuff, eat stuff, throw stuff away. How you manage this waste, and influencing whether it’s produced in the first place, will have an effect on the overall sustainability of your event.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What waste treatment facilities are in your region and what processes do they use?
  • What types of waste will be generated at your event?
  • How can you influence or regulate the types of waste generated?

How can you manage the waste at your event to move it towards Zero Waste given the answers to the above three questions?


Of incredible importance is the understanding waste occurs at every step along the one-way road of resource consumption, production, use and disposal. By reducing the amount we use or responsibly sourcing the products we sell and consume at events, we will in turn be reducing waste back up the supply chain.

Guiding principles central to sustainable waste management:

  • The polluter pays principle, which is the principle that all costs associated with the management of waste (including waste minimisation, treatment, disposal and environmental remediation costs) should, if practicable, be borne by the people who generated the wastes;
  • The user pays principle that all costs associated with the use of a resource should, if practicable, be included in the prices of goods and services (including government services) that result from that use; and
  • The product stewardship principle that producers, designers and/or importers of products have the ultimate responsibility for minimising any environmental harm resulting from the production/importation, proper use or disposal of such products.