Zero Waste Events

Zero Waste Events

Zero waste is a philosophy of thoughtful reuse, composting and recycling in order to minimize the waste sent to landfills. Strive for zero waste at your next event by using our Zero Waste Event Checklist and renting event clearstreams from our office!

Compostable Products

Providing reusable serviceware at your events is the preferred method of zero waste hosting! If that is not possible, WRR can provide on-campus events with affordable compostable cups, plates, bowls, and utensils. This is a billable service payable by department account, credit, check, or cash via University Invoice. Compostable products can be requested via the Request Service form.

Remember to place your compostable products in a compost bin! If your event location does not have compost bins available for your use, please rent event clearstreams from our office via the Request Service form.

All products are priced and sold via sets of 10 Cost per Set
Cold cup, 12 oz. $1.00
Hot cup, 12 oz. $1.00
Hot cup lid $0.85
9″ round plate $1.10
7″ round plate $0.80
Bowls,12 oz. $1.00
Forks $0.60
Spoons $0.60
Knives $0.60
Napkins $0.35

Clearstream FAQs

A clearstream is a collapsible bin used for event waste. It includes a lightweight metal frame which holds a bag, a labelled plastic lid, and upon request, a billboard featuring identified items to landfill, recycle, or compost.

If you are hosting an event that will create waste, please fill out our Request Service form to rent clearstream event bins. Clearstream rentals are free of charge for events hosted by a recognized NC State Student Organization and small events hosted by NC State departments.

Click on one of the dropdown menus below to learn more about clearstreams and how rentals work.

  • Use our Request Service Form to order clearstreams for your next event!
  • Our team will contact you to coordinate your request.
  • The requested amount of event clearstreams with bags and/or dumpsters will be delivered near the event location prior to your event, allowing ample time for set-up.
  • The clearstreams will be locked, however, the combination will be emailed to you in a confirmation email.
  • Your event staff/volunteers are responsible for setting up the event clearstreams. These Clearstream Set-up Instructions will provide detailed steps on how to set up the clearstreams.

  • Your volunteers and staff are responsible for emptying any landfill, recycling and compost event clearstreams that fill up during the event.
  • Inform everyone working and attending your event to sort their waste into the appropriate bin. Give a quick “Zero Waste” speech at the beginning of your event or include signage where people pick up their food/disposable items.
  • Share this Quick Guide on what goes into each bin to your event volunteers & participants.
  • Clearstream bins follow the same guidelines as the rest of the bins on campus. If you have specific items, or would like assistance with specific signage, visit our Recycling Guide or contact us and we will be happy to assist.

  • Break down all clearstreams and place back in the cart in the same location they were dropped off, and lock.
  • Place all generated waste into the appropriate container: trash into the nearest landfill dumpster and recycling into the nearest recycling carts or dumpster.
  • If applicable, take your compostable items, such as pizza boxes, to the nearest pizza box composting dumpster.
  • If a compost dumpster is not feasible, stack any bags of compost beside your event clearstreams.
  • All materials will be picked up the next business day.
  • Billing, if applicable, will occur once all items are picked up by WRR. There is a charge for items lost and/or stolen.

Clearstream event charges may apply for large campus events. However, clearstream event bins are free of charge for events hosted by a recognized NC State Student Organization and small events hosted by NC State Departments. Please contact us for information!

Clearstreams (rented as sets) & Event Dumpsters Rental Cost
1 Compost Clearstream $15.00*
1 Recycling Clearstream & 1 Compost Clearstream $15.00*
1 Landfill Clearstream, 1 Recycling Clearstream & 1 Compost Clearstream $15.00*
1 Landfill Clearstream & 1 Recycling Clearstream $15.00*
Landfill Dumpster $70.00
Cardboard Dumpster $70.00
Compost Dumpster $70.00
Plywood (if applicable) $2.00 per sheet

*Costs are waived for NC State student events and small events hosted by NC State departments.

Tons of food waste and single-use items are sent to landfills each day. Working to make your event zero waste not only saves landfill space and reduces methane gas produced in landfills, but it is a powerful way to change people’s perceptions of trash and help others become more aware of their environmental impact.

Waste Reduction and Recycling staff are always available to offer guidance to event planners wishing to incorporate zero waste into their events. Please contact us for assistance.

Click on one of the dropdown menus below to learn more about the steps you can take to host a zero waste event.


Assess how much and what type of materials will be thrown out at the event. This will identify opportunities to reduce waste and determine who and what is needed to manage that waste. Here are some things to consider during your evaluation:

  • Type of event (concert vs. small meeting)
  • How many people
  • Location (indoor vs. outdoor)
  • Food (individually packaged vs. buffet)
  • Serviceware (use reusable and/or compostable serviceware)
  • Giveaways
  • Volunteer availability
  • Decorations (use reusable and sustainable decorations)

Once you have completed this step, please fill out the Request Service form or contact us to reserve clearstreams for your event.

This is a great way to set expectations and create guidelines for your event volunteers, attendees and vendors from the beginning. It also provides a source of motivation and makes it easier to measure success. Here are some things to consider when setting goals:

  • Set goals that are attainable. Referring to the initial needs assessment can help you better determine what is realistic.
  • Sometimes budgets are limited, so be creative and utilize all available resources.
  • It is ok to start small, something as little as composting several pizza boxes from your event can make a big impact.

Placing event bins in the proper location will increase attendee participation in recycling and composting at your event. Here are some suggestions for the best event bin placement:

  • Always pair event bins
  • Make sure bins are accessible and conveniently located
  • Bins should be close to food and eating areas
  • Always place bins near crowded areas
  • Bins should be located at entrance and exit points

  • Share goals and set expectations with vendors and attendees
  • Train volunteers and ensure they know what can and cannot go into each bin
  • Provide clear signage

  • Setup event bins: compost, recycle, landfill
  • Sort/Monitor Stations (change bags as needed)
  • Break down and clean up
  • Get material to the right place to be recycled, composted or disposed of