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Policies & Reporting Requirements
Applicable Events
The policy and reporting requirements apply to events held in San José with more than 1,000 daily attendees. Events with less than 1,000 attendees may find this information useful and are encouraged to practice the same policy and reporting requirements as large events. The policies are specific to recycling and trash for events and do not encompass additional health, fire, safety, and storm water policies and requirements. Please visit the event planning web portal for additional San José event policies and requirements.
Prohibited foam cup and container with number 6 recycling symbol and thumbs down symbol.
Recycling Policies
The City of San José requires that all events with more than 1,000 attendees must:
  • Prohibit polystyrene foam food service-ware use by event and vendors
  • Use recyclable PET plastic (labeled with #1 recycling symbol) cups 7 oz. or greater and paper cups for beverage containers less than 7 oz.
  • Collect, at minimum, plastics, glass, metals, and cardboard for recycling
  • Comply with the Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance (Ord. 28877) as it applies to merchandise Required 7oz cup with number 1 recycling symbol and thumbs up. and craft vendors 

Reporting Requirements
There are also pre-event reporting requirements and post-event reporting requirements mandated by the State of California (State) and the City of San José (City). The State and City Event Requirements mandate that events:
  • Submit pre-event plans for waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting to the City’s Environmental Services Department (ESD)
  • Submit post-event results of the type and weight of materials diverted and disposed (a.k.a. weight tags)

How to Meet the Pre-Event Reporting Requirement
To comply with the State & City pre-event reporting requirement, Event Organizers must complete the Zero Waste Event Application (Application) at least 45 calendar days prior to the event. This application also serves as the only way to do the following:
  • Request FREE event services offered within the Zero Waste Events Program (some restrictions apply)
  • Order dumpsters for events on public property. Events on private property must order dumpsters from Republic Services. For information visit the City’s commercial hauler website

How to Meet the Post-Event Reporting Requirement
When the hauler removes the dumpsters from an event and delivers them to a processor or landfill, the materials will be weighed and the hauler will be given a weight tag showing the weight of each dumpster received. The City uses this weight tag information to quantify the amounts collected so an event’s diversion rate can be calculated. The diversion rate refers to the percentage of total materials that did not go to the landfill. For example, if an event collects a total of two tons of materials, and one ton was recycled, the event has a 50% diversion rate. The City uses this diversion information to report as required to the State.

Events that secure dumpster service through the City’s contractor, Green Team of San José, through the Application do not need to submit these weight tags because the City already receives them. Events that choose a donated dumpster service by an approved hauler are required to submit weight tags within 10 days following the event by email to the Zero Waste Event Program.