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Waste Management for Your Special Event

Zero Waste Event Program

San José Environmental Services Department provides free dumpster service for public events on public property with at least 2,000 daily attendees. Please note: the Zero Waste Events Program no longer provides on-site waste management services. It is up to event coordinators to arrange for waste receptacles and to service them during the event. All of the event's compostables and recyclables will be removed before the trash is sent to the landfill. Use the General Guidelines - Event Waste Management to develop your waste management plan and include these details in the narrative portion of your Special Event Permit Application.

Follow these steps to receive free dumpster service for your event: 

Send your request to at least 45 days prior to the start of your event. In your email, include: 
  • The name of your event;
  • Event dates and location;
  • The anticipated number of daily attendees;
  • The number and size of dumpsters you need;
  • Where the dumpsters should be dropped. Note: dumpsters are not dropped or picked up on weekends, only on weekdays.
  • Note: In return for free dumpster service, you must also announce three environmental messages daily during the event. These messages will be provided with service confirmation.

Below are additional resources to help you green your event:

Waste management for public events with less than 2,000 attendees:

Events on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park with fewer than 2,000 daily attendees that are open to the public pay for dumpsters through the City’s contractor.

You will be billed by the City after the event. If choosing this option, coordinate this with your Special Event Application through the San José Office of Cultural Affairs no less than 45 days prior to your event.

For events being held in San José parks, visit the Parks Department’s Festivals and Events page

Private events:

Events on private property must order dumpster service from the City’s franchised hauler, Republic Services. Call their customer service at 408.432-1234.

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.

For questions or assistance, please contact

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