Special Events Recycling Units

Even small events can produce large amounts of waste. We understand there are many details to consider when planning an event, so the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency wants to help make it easy for Dubuque County events to collect and recycle materials.

Recycling Frames

During the planning process check to see if the location has existing recycling containers and larger recycling dumpsters available for use. If containers are not available, check with the facility for permission to set up your own collection containers. The DMASWA loans portable recycling frames to businesses, organizations and residents for special events. The event recycling frames are primarily used to collect plastic bottles and cups, aluminum cans, and paper products. (View a list of acceptable plastic, metal and paper products.) A limited supply of food waste and organics containers are available.

The DMASWA will provide clear bags for the collection of recyclable materials. You are responsible for providing black 40-gallon Kraft yard waste bags for organics collections. To keep the event clean and manage the materials collected, it is highly suggested to have volunteers oversee the collection containers. They can monitor the proper placement of recyclables and empty bags as they become full. 

Individual frames can be picked up at the City of Dubuque Municipal Services Center located at 925 Kerper Court or we can deliver a trailer with 30 frames or 40 frames to your event location within Dubuque County.

Suggested Number of Frames

The following table is an example of how many frames should be allocated for the number of attendees expected to be at the event:

AttendanceNumber of Frames
0 to 1,00010
1,000 to 5,00020
20,000 to 30,00050

Event Recycling Best Practices

For a list of best practices click here


It is the responsibility of the event organizers to arrange for the disposal of all material collected with a recycling processor, hauler, or composter. Contact your local waste haulers who provide event services for recycling material pickup. The recycling and organics frames are provided free of charge and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced reservations are required to ensure availability.


Individual Frames (Less than 20 Frames)


Small Trailer (21-30 Frames)

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Large Trailer (31-40 Frames)

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