Per the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance, recycling and composting is mandatory for events. Event producers hosting events in San Francisco are required to attend a free zero waste event training before their event(s) take place.

Requirements for your event

Please download the Zero Waste Event Checklist with step-by-step instructions on how to comply SF's zero waste requirements for events.

  1. Recycling / Zero Waste plan - Special event permit applications must include a recycling and composting plan. A form can be found here: Zero Waste Events Form
  2. Sufficient service - Events must subscribe to sufficient recycling, composting and trash (landfill) service from Recology
  3. Containers - Recology also offers recycle, compost and trash (landfill) event containers with pre-printed labels to facilitate the event's zero waste program
  4. Signage - Order updated refuse (recycling, composting, and trash (landfill)) signage by contacting Recology's Customer Service, email with your desired signage type and quantity. Event producers can also print and create their own signage
  5. Foodware - Events that will be selling or providing food must serve food in reusable, BPI Certified Compostable or recyclable foodware. Refer to the Zero Waste Event Checklist for additional information. 
  6. Reusable Cups - Permitted events with over 100 attendees must ensure that at least 10% of attendees have reusable cups. To comply event producers can implement the following: 

    • Provide reusable cups for attendees to use. For a list of reusable cup companies, please refer to the Zero Waste Event Checklist. 
    • Ask attendees to bring their own cups (no glass)
    • Sell promotional cups and allow attendees to refill their purchased cups


  7. Edible Food Recovery - Events with over 2,000 attendees that will be selling or providing food must arrange to prevent food waste and to recover the maximum amount of surplus edible food that would otherwise be disposed of, by partnering with one or several food recovery organization(s) or service(s). Refer to State Law Senate Bill 1383: Food Recovery Requirements  and to the Zero Waste Event Checklist for additional information.

This mandatory workshop will cover updates on new requirements for permitted events, a review of San Francisco's zero waste ordinances, an overview of the events auditing process, and best practices to promote sustainability at your event. Learn how to comply with zero waste event requirements, introduce reusable food ware at your events and meet with other event producers.


SF Environment offers free consultations to reduce refuse costs and provides guidance to implement a successful zero waste event. Contact the Residential Zero Waste team at

Learn about zero waste legislation event organizers must follow: Recycling and Composting Ordinance, Checkout Bag Ordinance, Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance (compostable or recyclable to-go containers and no Styrofoam. 

Hiring an event greening company is highly recommended for a successful zero waste event. It is a requirement for large events such as street fairs, music festivals, large conference and athletic events. 

Below are some event greeners that are also listed in our Zero Waste Event Checklist. 

Company name Company contact information
Green Mary
Race to Zero Waste
Right Cycle Consulting
Rotation Community Services
San Francisco Conservation Corps



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