Event Recycling & Compostables
About the State Recycling Law and the City Food Packaging Law
Washington State’s Recycling Law (RCW 70.93.093) requires beverage vendors at official gatherings and events to provide recycling for single-serving plastic, glass and aluminum containers. Event organizers are also responsible for monitoring and servicing recycling bins during events, and having the recycled items hauled to a Recycling & Disposal Station.
Seattle’s Food Packaging Law (Seattle Municipal Code 21.36.086) requires food service businesses, including food and beverage vendors at events, to use compostable or recyclable food packaging in place of disposables.
View the SPU Event Recycling and Composting flyer (pdf).
View the Food Packaging Requirements
For more information about the food packaging law, and to access resources available to food service businesses, go to the Green Business Program website.
Why is event recycling and event compostables collection important?
Encouraging recycling and compostables collection at your event is not only good for the environment but also saves you money through lower garbage disposal costs. Recycling and compostables collection saves money on landfill costs and cuts down on energy and greenhouse gas use in manufacturing.
What must be recycled at events?
The following items must be collected: plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles, and cardboard. Other recyclables include newspaper, and paper event programs/schedules.
What must be compostable at events?
Typically all food packaging including plates, bowls, trays and tubs used to serve food must be collected for compostables collection or recycling. Packaging containing food should be made of compostable material. For more information about packaging options see the list of approved packaging options at Cedar Grove Composting website.
Where to find help
The following are examples of vendors that provide event bins for sale, bin rental and services for recyclables and compostables. Seattle Public Utilities does not endorse any specific product or service provider. The listings provided are suggested resources.
How do I get started?
The type of event will determine your course of action.