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Zero-Waste Event Application

For public events held on public property with over 1,000 daily attendees, event organizers are required to create a ‘Materials Management Plan’ which addresses how all wastes generated by the event will be collected and disposed of. The City can arrange for dumpster service and the separation of recyclables from trash and compostables prior to landfill. Event must follow Environmental Services guidelines for food and beverage service-ware and announce three messages provided by Environmental Services during each event day.

The City’s Zero Waste Event Program offers resources to large outdoor special events in San José to help them meet and exceed state and local recycling requirements. These resources vary and may be free depending on the event size, the event location, and available funds. Qualifying events that follow the City requirements receive free services (complete the entire Application). 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 below.

Please note: The Zero Waste Events Program is not providing on-site waste management services at this time. We are still providing free dumpster service to events that qualify. Please send your request to

Ineligible for Free Services

Private Events

Events on private property must order dumpster service from Republic Services, which is not requested through this Application. For information visit the City’s commercial hauler website.

Public Events Smaller Than 500 Attendees

Events on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park with less than 500 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, complete section 1 and 3 of this Application 45 calendar days prior to the event. 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.

Eligible for Free Services

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 1,000 attendees are eligible to receive free City-contracted dumpsters. To receive free dumpster services, events must implement the following requirements:

  1. Vendors, caterers and samplers are required to use the food & beverage products listed on the document - Food & Beverage Products: The Do’s & Don’ts of Sustainable Selection.
  2. Order dumpsters by emailing
  3. Announce the messages in the stage announcements (available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese) at an event stage during each day of your event.

Complete and submit this Application at least 45 calendar days prior to the event. More notice is advised. For assistance completing the Application, contact the Zero Waste Event Program at (408) 975-2532 or email at

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