Zero Waste Events

** Program updated as of 6/15/2023 **

Keep Charleston Beautiful’s Zero Waste Events Program helps assist event coordinators in hosting more sustainable and environmentally friendly events. Keep Charleston Beautiful staff, along with recruited volunteers, manage an on-site waste sorting station for event guests, with a goal of diverting more than 90% of recyclables and compostables from the landfill waste stream. 

Curious about utilizing our services for your next Charleston event? Please familiarize yourself with the details of how our Zero Waste Event Program is structured. We are happy to answer any additional questions via email.

Volunteers staff the Zero Waste Events sorting station

Program Requirements:

  • Requests for Zero Waste Event Services must be made 30 days prior to the scheduled event date. A $100 fee will be added to requests not made 30 days in advance. 
  • Event hosts/coordinators must conduct an informal pre-event meeting with Keep Charleston Beautiful staff at least one week prior to the event to discuss logistics and the event’s sustainability efforts. The City of Charleston’s Sustainable Event Guide will be reviewed with the event host.
  • KCB staff is required to be present at events where all three waste streams are being utilized: compost, recycling, landfill. 
    KCB will not be on site to staff events where the composting stream is not present. 
  • KCB is no longer lending groups receptacles to use for free. Exceptions will be made for groups only looking to utilize the landfill and recycling receptacle frames.

What is provided:

  • Keep Charleston Beautiful is made up of one full time staff person. As such, KCB will recruit volunteers to help staff event waste stations as needed. Volunteers are unfortunately not a guarantee.
  • One tented waste sorting station will be set up on site and will function as the main waste sorting station for the event.
  • Additional “satellite” waste sorting stations can be set up throughout the event, if enough volunteers are available to have them staffed. 
  • KCB staff will assist event patrons in sorting, as well as provide education/awareness during this process.
  • KCB will remove all front-of-house waste from the event site. 
  • All waste is weighed, and event hosts will be provided with a landfill diversion percentage following the event. 


  • 30 day notice is required for services; failure to meet this deadline will result in an additional $100 rush fee.
  • Compost disposal for events is $150 flat rate. 
  • Event staffing fee of $29.11/hr for one person. This requires including 1.5 hours for loading, transport, setup, breakdown, and unloading 
    (e.g. if your event is from 1pm-5pm, the total hours charged will be 5.5)
  • A quote will be provided for services before the event.
  • A final invoice will be billed following the event.
  • If your event produces more than 128 gallons of compostables (two rolling carts or 6-8 bags of food waste), then an additional $100 hauling and disposal fee will be charged. 

Exempt Services:

  • KCB staff is not responsible for busing/clearing tables. 
  • KCB staff will not take catering/bar waste unless their staff assists with sorting via waste stations, and we are given prior notice by the event staff. 

"Recycling and Landfill Only" Event Requirements:

  • In instances where events only want to use recycling and landfill receptacles
    • There will be no fee to use receptacles
    • 30 day advanced notice is required for use (if not there is a $100 rush use fee) 
    • KCB staff will not assist with transport, loading, unloading, etc., and will not be on site during the event.
    • Bags can be provided for a fee $0.30/bag
    • Events must dispose of their own waste via convenience center at bees ferry or other recycling convenience centers. 
    • Groups are required to clean/wipe down plastic lids prior to returning receptacles

Get your event on our calendar !

Let us know as soon as possible about your event, so we can make sure we are available to assist at the event. Our calendar fills up fast! 

  1. Fill out our inquiry form - Let us know all the details about your event. You'll need to know things like date, time, location, duration, expected attendance, what sort of waste is going to be produced during the event. 
  2. Quote provided - Once Keep Charleston Beautiful staff has gathered all the information needed, we will provide the event host with a quote outlining the estimated costs of services. Costs are associated with waste hauling and disposal fees, equipment, supplies, and staff time. 

Zero Waste Events Opens in new window

Tips For A Zero Waste Event:

  •  Volunteers are essential to making the waste sorting process as seamless and contamination free as possible. Keep Charleston Beautiful can try to recruit volunteers to help staff stations, but if you already have volunteer recruitment as part of the larger event, consider adding a "Green Team" for waste sorting stations.
  • Including all three waste streams (landfill, recycling, & compost) is integral to decreasing the amount of waste going to the landfill. 
  • Refer to the recommendations outlined in the City's Green Events Guide to make your event as sustainable as possible.