Festivals, parties and events can create a lot of trash. Help make your next event low-waste.
Smaller gatherings and events
From graduation parties to barbeques, make a positive change at your next get-together by recycling more.
Collect from guests
Provide recycling containers for your guests to collect cans, bottles and paper.
Check out the list of what you can recycle.
- Put a recycling container next to each trash container.
- Use any kind of container to collect recycling or borrow one for free - see below.
- Label your containers so your guests know what to do. Make your own or print the Dakota County event signs:
Disposal options for smaller gatherings
Recycle what you collect:
Compost the organics (food scraps) you collect:
Large events and festivals
Event centers, community festivals, fairs, sporting events and concerts are required to recycle. In 2024, certain large events with food scraps will need to collect organics from non-public areas. Find out more about event requirements and resources to help with compliance.
Large event recycling help
Get help making a low-waste event plan, obtaining resources, educating vendors and training volunteers. Contact Dakota County at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952-891-7557 for assistance.
Vendor recycling guide
Use the fillable guide to communicate what vendors should do with recycling and trash generated at the event.
- Fill in with directions for your event. Download PDF and hover over boxes for examples. Think of what a vendor might need to know to get rid of recyclables, trash, and other items at your event.
- Add contact information.
- Give to vendors when you check in with them at the start of the event.
Vendor Recycling Guide
Vendor Recycling Guide with Organics Collection
Event recycling containers for any size event
Borrow containers for free from your city recycling coordinator or Dakota County. Event recycling containers include collapsible containers, bags, and signs.
- Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan and Lakeville (Dakota Valley Recycling), 952-895-4559
Farmington, Hastings and Rosemount, 612-268-9097
Inver Grove Heights, 651-604-8511
Mendota Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and West St. Paul, 651-552-4118
Dakota County (online reservation). After your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with specific details on how to complete your self-service pick up of your items at the Western Service Center in Apple Valley.
How to Set Up Event Containers
Number of waste stations
Waste stations - a recycling and trash container paired together – should be kept to a minimum to reduce time spent monitoring and emptying them:
- Up to 150 guests (e.g., graduation parties and family reunions) — 1–2 waste stations
- 150–300 guests (e.g., weddings) — 3–4 waste stations
- 300–600 guests (e.g., school picnic) — 5–6 waste stations
- 600–1,500 guests (e.g., sporting events) — 7–8 waste stations
- More than 1,500 — 8+ depending on size and waste amounts