Zero Waste Events

Coming in 2022, the Town of Erie will require that all Special Events practice waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting measures in order to be approved for a permit. This page has information, tools, and resources to help event organizers plan a Zero Waste event and comply with the Town’s requirements. This requirement has been in place in some of our neighboring communities for decades and the Town is confident this can be achieved by our event planners. Please feel free to email SustainableErie@erieco.gov with any additional questions or for more resources after reading through the details below.

  1. Required
  2. Encouraged
  3. Zero waste event waiver

Provide Recycle, Compost, and Landfill (Trash) Receptacles for Event 

  • Contract waste collection service that is sufficient to contain the waste generated by your event. See the Waste Service tab below for more information.
  • Provide waste stations in convenient locations for recycle, compost, and garbage separation by event employees, vendors, and attendees.
  • No standalone containers are permitted.
  • See the Waste Stations tab below for more detail.
  • Public (Town-maintained) litter cans throughout event area should not be relied on for use during your event.

Employ Zero Waste Purchasing Practices

  • Use reusable, recyclable or compostable containers.
  • Use compostable utensils if utensils are necessary.
  • Provide condiments (e.g., sugar, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing) in bulk instead of individual packages and servings.
  • Limit single-use water bottles. 
    • Note: Single-use bottles are already prohibited at Town-sponsored events per the Town Meeting Policy.)
  • Do not use:
    • Plastic bags
    • Expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam™) items
    • Plastic utensils, stir sticks, or straws
    • Disposable decorations, including balloons
    • Pre-packaged goodie bags or individually wrapped promotional items

Ensure that Zero Waste Requirements are Followed by all Vendors at Your Event

  1. Waste Services
  2. Waste Logistics
  3. Waste Stations
  4. Waste Monitors

Remember, the less you use during your special event, the cheaper and more environmentally friendly your event becomes before it even begins.

Recycling, composting, and landfill collection services can be contracted for your event by contacting Eco-Cycle. Or contact any of the other waste service providers that operate in Erie for hauling services. NOTE: You will be responsible for managing on-site collection and minimizing contamination. 

Zero Waste Event Coordinators are available to assist you, at no additional cost. Please email SustainableErie@erieco.gov in advance of your event with any questions you might have. Assistance includes: 

  • Establishing appropriate service levels. 
  • Zero Waste planning for special events. 
  • Education: On-site trainings and meeting, posters, and other Zero Waste swag. 

Note: Special Events are eligible to use whichever recycling, composting, and landfill receptacles adhere to the Waste Station guidelines listed in the tab to the right.