Festival Waste Management

Unfortunately, when thousands and thousands of people descend upon a field for a music festival, high volumes of waste are inevitable. So high, in fact, that quantifying it can be a little scary. It’s estimated that UK music festivals produce around 23,500 tonnes of waste each year. To put that in perspective, that’s around the same weight as 80 fully loaded Boeing 747s.

So, if your waste management company has landed a music festival contract this year, don’t be worried – be prepared!

V Festival waste management


What waste are you dealing with?

Before your team gets anywhere near the festival, the first thing that you’re going to need to do is find out exactly what sort of waste you are dealing with.

Below are some examples of the sort of waste that you might be dealing with at a festival:

The next question that should be on your mind: which of these materials are actually recyclable? Glass bottles and aluminium cans certainly are, but what about all the different kinds of plastics? What about the contaminated packaging? It’s important to fully understand exactly what materials you will and won’t be able to recycle before starting your waste management campaign, as this will allow you to properly plan for it.

How to think sustainably for your festival

One of the main waste problems that you will find at festivals is the sheer amount of non-recyclable plastics. Whether it’s plastic straws, plastic bottles or polythene bags handed out by food and drinks stalls, all of this will mount up over the course of the weekend and end up in landfill.

That’s why, before the festival, it’s important to try and nip these things in the bud. Why not encourage the use of reusable bottles by positioning refill stations around the site? You could even suggest banning the sale of single-use coffee cups, and of course recyclable cardboard straws should be a simple enough change.

Encouraging the guests to dispose of their waste

It’s all well and good having a recycling plan in place for your festival, but it’s not always easy to get the guests to comply. That’s why you need to make it as easy for them to dispose of their waste properly.

Start by setting up many waste stations throughout the festival, some for recyclables and some for general waste. The important thing here is to make sure that they’re clearly labelled to make it as simple as possible for festival goers to get it right, regardless of the state they’re in.


Brown Recycling is a leading waste management company in Stoke-on-Trent, offering all kinds of services from commercial waste disposal to skip hire. We know how to keep festival waste in check too; we got the V Festival contract a few years back! If you’re interested in learning a little more about what we do, all you have to do is get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to advise you.


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