Zero Waste Community Event Toolkit


Permits and Regulations

Permits & Regulations

In general, event planners are required to obtain a permit (or a series of permits) from their municipality in order to run their event. Permitting also provides municipalities with an opportunity to encourage local events to reduce the amount of waste they generate and prescribe how wastes generated at the event are managed, which in turn can bring them closer to achieving their waste diversion targets. For example, municipal permits may dictate responsibility for waste management on-site and removal off-site, the types of materials that might be collected by the municipality or required for private hauling. Event planners should check with their local municipal authorities about waste diversion requirements when getting their permitting in order.

Waste diversion service providers contracted by event planners are generally responsible for any permits required to move waste materials (such as recyclables, organics, or waste) off site. Event planners concerned about the end market for any of these materials (some recyclables have ended up in landfills or quarries) should find out from their service provider about how the materials are handled once they leave the site.

Permitting can come into play when organizing how materials are collected on site - on-site materials collection depots need to be strategically located and designed in such a way as to pose no threat to public safety or health department restrictions

Action Checklist

  • Find out what permits or regulations apply, if any, to collection of wastes on site or the placement of containers.
  • Check with local health authorities to ensure they support any food or drink-related initiatives you plan to implement (e.g., using refillable mugs, reusable cutlery, serving condiments from bulk containers instead of single-serving packets).
  • Check with local health, environment and fire authorities for any controls related to access, storage or delivery of discarded materials from your site.


If your event is using a bulk water supply, refillable beer mugs, dishwashing or organics collection, work closely with the site crew to ensure all public health protocols for filling containers and other operations are followed.

Zero Waste Policies