How to manage the amount of garbage and recycling?

Hi PS Community!

I have a normal household garbage and recycling bin, however one PS event alone (i.e a 20 person baby shower) can completely max out my garbage and recycling for the week. I am considering asking guests to take the garbage and recycling with them however that seems like it may be a deterrent.

What are other hosts doing to deal with the amount of garbage and recycling after an event?

1 Like

I do not think it is a good idea to tell your guests to “take out the trash.” After you bag the trash ask if your neighbor can take this trash this week or there has to be a facility you can take your trash to. We have someone we call nearby to pick up the recyclables from us.

Let me know if you have any more questions/concerns.

1 Like

I agree with Eli on this one.
It’s kind of a bummer, but I think part of your cost of doing business may just include a trip to the recycling center and trash dump!

1 Like

I always ask my guests to take their trash and it’s never a problem. They are very understanding. In fact, they tell me it’s normal. I even put it in my house rules. Sometimes having several shoots in one week really prohibits my storing their trash.

We have the whole range of rentals, from guests who create zero trash, to those who smash everything into our inside cans, tear the bags, leave leaking bags outside, throw trash into out neighbors recycling bins, etc. the worst cases we have to clean and wash all our cans and bins inside and out.

Like many areas of the rental biz, it is not a one size fits all. Legit production companies consider your space a filming location and expect to haul away their trash. Guests having a party would prefer to walk away at the end of an event.

I have had multi-day pop-up rentals who rented a dumpster knowing they would generate a large amount of trash over 5 days, with multiple pickups. I had a 4-day rental last week and suggested they might want to rent a dumpster, but they passed. They did not generate an abundance of trash, but when they left there were an extra 6 bags of trash left behind our space. They had some other overages, and I added $25 to contribute to the disposal of the extra trash.

For events and off-site, explore options for trash removal and charge if necessary. And explain your rules and policies in advance.

1 Like

I have productions that leave one small bag after a full day of shooting and events that leave 20 bags after a 8 hour party. It’s difficult to manage and probably my least favorite thing about owning a venue.


1: Inform people upfront about garbage rules — I have a rules and policies document that all renters must sign prior to entry. There’s a very clear section that covers the rules about trash. The highlights of this include:

  • Must use studio provided garbage bags. These are the 3mm contractor bags. The wimpy residential bags that we all use at home don’t cut it. I don’t let people use their own bags.

  • All items must be in a bag. I once had a wedding try to leave me with an 9 foot flower covered archway. Today, if it it doesn’t fit in a bag, they either have to take it with them or be charged a fee (see #3).

  • Don’t overfill the bags. I’d rather have 20 light bags than 10 overstuffed bags that weigh 50 lbs each. I also try to mitigate this by making the rounds during events and emptying cans sooner than later.

2: Go over trash rules with guests when they arrive — I make sure to explain the rules again in person. I show them where the bags are and and then show them where the cans are outside. This makes sure there’s no confusion.

3: Hit them hard with fees — For any infractions to the garbage rules, I take $250 out of their security deposit. I know that’s a steep fee, but that’s the point. At the end of a late night event, people often won’t think twice about a $25 or $50 fee. Charging them $250 really gets their attention. I think I’ve only ever had 2 people actually get charged.

Hope that helps.