RECYCLING AT CONVENTION
A convention center can host hundreds of thousands of people
at single events. With the
number of events held and the volumes of people in attendance,
convention centers offer a great opportunity for recycling.
Recycling Placement for
Making recycling accessible for attendees encourages
providing glass, plastic, aluminum, and paper recycling bins in the
Lobbies and Exhibit
Lobbies are ideal for recycling because all attendees have to pass
through this area. Exhibit floors are also high traffic areas where
people often snack and socialize.
Be sure to label all bins clearly and promote their availability
on display screens or audio announcements. Make sure the recycling bins
are next to trash receptacles.
Waste from food courts or open dining areas can be recycled or composted
by both attendees and center workers.
Many of the food waste or serving ware can be collected and
composted. A baler may be a
good investment if large amounts of cardboard could be potentially
Current Convention Center Practices
Several convention centers in the United States are already doing
their part to minimize waste and promote recycling.
Located in San Francisco, the
Center hosts over a
million visitors for over 100 annual shows.
The center saves over 800 tons of material from the waste stream
After beginning the recycling program, the
Moscone Center gained back its initial start
up costs through waste diversion within two years. In addition to
providing standard recycling bins, the center also heavily participates
in donations to non-profits and residents.
Boston Convention and Exhibition
over 1.6 million square feet of space, the BCEC saves over 200 tons of
potential waste each year.
The recycling initiative originally began with a focus on food waste.
The center installed an organic compactor and used wheeled carts
for waste movement. The
center and vendors dedicated time to train employees on efficient
handling of waste, including avoiding contaminants.
The center has saved approximately $27 per ton with its organics
Shortly after the organics recycling initiative, the center implemented
a plastics recycling program.
In addition to beverage containers, the center saved shrink wrap,
coat hangers, waste baskets, chairs, and other plastic items for
recycling. A plastics baler
was purchased to prepare the items for shipment to the recycler.
Over 30 tons of plastic have been recycled in one year.
center hosts over 700 events annual and can boast several recycling and
green practices throughout its operation.
In recent years, the center successfully diverted over 300 tons
of waste from landfills annually.
Recycling bins and collection are only part of the center’s recycling
practices, which also include procuring 100 percent recycled content
office paper, paper towels, and toilet paper. Among the more popular
recycled items, the center also recycles wood pallets, metals, concrete,
and electronics. Employees also practice waste reduction by using
electronic documents, avoiding individually packaged foods, and
providing water coolers for refills.
The Oregon Convention Center
has received several awards based on their recycling practices and has
an institutional recycling rate goal of 75 percent.