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Event Recycling

FAQ’s

What events are included in the law?
Official Gathering: “An event where authorization to hold the event is approved, recognized, or issued by a government, public body, or authority, including but not limited to fairs, musical concerts, athletic games, festivals, tournaments, or any other formal or ceremonial event, during which beverages are sold by a vendor or vendors in a single--use aluminum, glass or plastic bottles or cans.”

Sports Facility: “An outdoor recreational sports facility, including but not limited to athletic fields and ballparks, at which beverages are sold by a vendor or vendors in single-use aluminum, glass or plastic bottles or cans.”

What about indoor sports games?
An indoor sports event is considered an official gathering.

Are farmer’s markets covered under the law? What other community events fall under the law?
Yes. The law applies to all official gatherings. The law defines official gatherings as: “An event where authorization to hold the event is approved, recognized, or issued by a government, public body, or authority, including but not limited to fairs, musical concerts, athletic games, festivals, tournaments, or any other formal or ceremonial event, during which beverages are sold by a vendor or vendors in single-use aluminum, glass or plastic bottle or cans.”

What does “curbside service” mean?
While typically used to refer to residential recycling collection programs, curbside service means that a transporter picks up collected recyclables at your place of business, rather than having to haul them to a collection facility.

What if the vendor or the event has to pay for the recycling collection services? Does the law affect them?
Yes. The law affects events in jurisdictions where curbside recycling collection services are available.

What jurisdictions fall under this law?
To find out if you have commercial curbside recycling service available at your location, contact your local solid waste department for your city/county for assistance.
See Recycling Haulers for more assistance.

Are individual, private vendors responsible for collecting and recycling containers?
Yes. The law states that vendors (meaning those actually selling the beverages at the events) are responsible for providing and funding the collection and transportation of the beverage containers for recycling. The vendors need to either provide the program themselves or pay to have one provided. Vendors need to ensure that the collected bottles and cans are actually transported to a facility for recycling at the end of each event.

Is the law regarding the event recycling program required to be included in event permitting processes?
Including the law in your local event permitting requirements is an effective way to ensure events and facilities are aware of their responsibilities. The law does not require you to do so.

How does the Washington State Department of Ecology oversee this regulation? Does someone go around and inspect to make sure vendors are complying?
According to the RCW, Ecology’s role is to provide notice of the law, may enforce via law enforcement, and may collect fines. At this time, we do not have event recycling inspectors.

Are there any penalties for not providing a public recycling program at an event?
The penalty, if enforced, is not more than $50 for each violation. This can be interpreted to be $50 per vendor per event, to be paid by the vendor.

How are other cities handling this law?
A few cities and counties have purchased event recycling containers to make it easier for events and sports facilities to comply. Other cities and counties have provided outreach to events and facilities. Cities and counties are not required to do anything according to the law—the vendors are required to comply with the law.

How do I get started in setting up a recycling program at my event?
Contact your local recycling collection hauler and/or government recycling coordinator. Check out How to Get Started for useful tips for a successful recycling program at your next event!