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Zero Waste Event Program
Most waste materials discarded at events are not waste and, with proper planning and collection, can be reused, recycled, or composted, diverting them from landfill. The Zero Waste Event Program works with Event Organizers to minimize waste, recycle and compost at events held in the City of San José. The program conforms to California’s Assembly Bill 2176 (PRC 42648), which sets guidelines for waste management at events. The program also promotes the City’s Green Vision goal #5 to reach zero waste by 2022.

This website is designed to provide resources and information to help event planners:

FREE Resources
Available resources vary and may be free depending on the event size, event location, and available funds. Qualifying events that follow the City requirements receive free services. Non-qualifying events and events that do not follow the requirements need to pay for services. To find out if your event qualifies, read through the following:

Qualified Events
Events held in San José on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park that are open to the public and expect more than 500 daily attendees are eligible to receive FREE City-contracted dumpsters, FREE rental of recycling equipment, and FREE recycling services from the San Jose Conservation Corps. To receive any of these in-kind services, events must implement the following requirements and complete the Zero Waste Event Application (Application) at least 45 calendar days prior to the event:  
 
  1. Vendors, caterers and samplers are required to use the food & beverage products in the Food & Beverage Products: The Do’s & Don’ts of Sustainable Selection guide.
  2. Order dumpsters from the Application.    
  3. Use City loaned Eco-stations. These are specially designed receptacles for recycling, compost & trash collection. 
  4. Announce the three messages listed in the stage announcements at an event stage during each day of your event.

Non-qualified Events

Events on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park with less than 500 daily attendees that are open to the public are not eligible to receive any of the free in-kind services in this program. Events on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park that are not open to the public regardless of size, are not eligible to receive any of the free in-kind services in this program. These events pay for dumpster service through the City’s contractor and will be billed by the City after the event. To order dumpsters, complete the Zero Waste Event Application 45 calendar days prior to the event.
       
Events on private property must order dumpster service from the City’s commercial hauler, Republic Services, which is not requested through this Program.

Block parties held in San José should use the residential carts or collection system from the neighborhood holding the block party instead of a dumpster. 

The Zero Waste Event Program can answer questions and assist events that are implementing recycling and/or compost collection programs.