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Are we playing hide-n-seek with recycling bins at events?

Updated: Oct 6, 2018

More and more events are starting to have recycling bins at their event venues. However, they are often tucked away in some obscure corner because the bins do not look attractive and so do not “fit in” with the look of the event. Other times, there is only 1 set of recycling bins (paper, plastic, cans) for events with more than 500 people.

The purpose of recycling bins are to minimise waste sent for incineration and landfill at Semakau, and to promote a circular ecosystem where waste is turned into a resource e.g. plastic bottles recycled into sweaters. But this means that the bins need to be used actively and in order for that to happen, they need to be placed strategically and used correctly.

Recycling bins placed prominently at Sundown Marathon 2017.
Recycling bins placed prominently at Sundown Marathon 2017.

1. Provide enough recycling bins.

In order to decide what is “enough”, examine your event and identify the possible kinds of trash that will be generated. For example, Tradeshows tend to be heavy on printed material (paper and brochures) while a F&B festival would be heavy on food items that may have paper or plastic packaging. Accordingly, provide the recycling bins that are most relevant to the type of event and enough numbers to match the number of people attending.

Recycling Bins at Marina bay Sands Convention Centre
Recycling Bins at Marina bay Sands Convention Centre. Both recycling bins and recycling bags are provided for more convenience.

2. Make an effort to place recycling bins strategically.

Larger bins should be near areas of high trash volume like restrooms, food vendors, entrance and exits.

3. Making sure a General Waste bin is next to recycling bins.

This ensures trash that cannot be recycled ends up in the general waste instead of contaminating the recyclables in the recycling bins.

4. Remind people at the event to RECYCLE.

Sometimes all it takes is to remind people to recycle, especially since events are not typically associated with green trends.

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