Recycling at Events Guide

Why use a valuable product only once and then send it to be buried in a landfill? We all need to help remove these items from the garbage stream. By recycling plastic bottles, cans, glass and cardboard, you can capture the energy and resources already used to make products.

5 steps for recycling success at your event

Step 1: Choose the containers Recycling For Plastic Bottles

  • Use ClearStreams for beverage plastic bottles and cans
  • Use separate containers for other materials generated at the event, i.e. cardboard, glass, compost, garbage

Step 2: Determine how materials will be recycled/disposed?

  • Will beverage containers be returned for refund or recycled?
  • What drop–off locations will you use for recycling cardboard, glass and compost?
  • Will you need extra containers for garbage?

Step 3: Communicate with vendors, exhibitors and attendees

  • Before the event, inform vendors and exhibitors where items can be recycled. Provide clear instructions and a contact number of an event coordinator if they have questions.
  • Be sure vendors understand procedures for recycling materials, i.e. rinsing food containers, flattening cardboard boxes, etc. These procedures can be communicated in writing or at an orientation meeting.
  • Display items to be recycled at vendor stations – use the actual items or a poster.
  • Promote recycling in event literature or during on-stage announcements.

Step 4: Set-up collection stations

  • Limit the number of garbage and recycling stations. This makes monitoring and maintenance easier.
  • Pair recycling and garbage containers. ClearStreams should always be located next to a trash container. Recycling containers standing alone will become contaminated with trash.
  • Place stations near high traffic areas such as food courts, entrances and exits.
  • Make stations highly visible (signs, banners) and label each container clearly with the accepted materials (e.g. plastic bottles and cans, garbage, etc) using large lettering and/or images. Place signage at eye level if possible.
  • Use clear bags for recycling containers and black, or other opaque bags, for garbage containers. When attendees see recyclables in a clear recycle bag, they are less likely to confuse the bag with garbage.
  • Place a few empty bottles and cans in the recycling containers to give visitors a visual clue of what can be recycled.

Step 5: Keep things running smoothly

  • Check each recycling station regularly, removing contaminants from recycling containers and emptying full containers.

Assembling the ClearStream frame and bag

Each rack requires, at minimum, a 35-40 gallon bag (approximate dimension 40” X 48”). Use only clear bags for recycling and only black bags for garbage.

Assembling the ClearStream frame and bag 1. Set up frame with rounded slots facing up and pull the bag through the slot.
Assembling the ClearStream frame and bag 2. Fold edge back over the frame. Repeat on other side.
Assembling the ClearStream frame and bag 3. Tug on center edges of bag between frame to secure.
Assembling the ClearStream frame and bag 4. Extend frame and place blue lid over frame.

Recycling drop-off locations

The facilities listed below accept recyclables such as glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, buckets and tubs, paper and metal. Hours and materials accepted are subject to change. Call Metro’s Recycling Hotline at 503-234-3000, or visit for the most current recycling information.

Request free containers for events

We loan recycling containers for collecting plastic bottles and aluminum cans at events in Clackamas County.

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