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 Iowans to collect recyclables and recycle them once the fun is over.  The size of the event will be the biggest factor in determining whether event planners want to manage recycling themselves, or outsource the work. Either way, we've got tips to make it run smoothly!  TO RESERVE THE FRAMES PLEASE SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

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.  If you need to set up collection containers, the DMASWA loans portable recycling frames to businesses and organizations for special events. The event recycling frames are primarily used to collect plastic bottles and cups, aluminum cans, and paper products. A limited supply of food waste, organics, containers are available. These containers may also be used to collect other non-recycable materials.

The DMASWA will provide clear 40 gallon bags for the collection of recyclable materials.  You are responsible for providing black 40 gallon or larger bag for trash collection and Kraft yard waste bags for organics collections. To keep the event looking good and to keep the materials from overflowing the bags there should be about 15 volunteers per 1,000 attendees just to oversee the collection containers. They can monitor proper placement of recyclables and trash and empty trash bags as they become full. 

Frames can be picked up at the Municipal Services Center located at 925 Kerper Court in Dubuque or we can deliver a trailer with 30 frames or 40 frames to your event location within Dubuque and Delaware Counties.  The following table is an example of how many frames should be allocated for the number of attendee expected to be at the event:

Attendance                                  No. of Containers

0-1,000                                                              10

1,000-5,000                                                         20

20,000-30,000                                                     50

It is the responsibility of the event organizers to arrange for the disposal of all material collected with a recycling processor, hauler, or composter.  Search the Internet or phone book for local garbage haulers who provide event services for garbage and recycling. Many provide both recycling and trash boxes and larger dumpsters for large-scale events.  The program is free of charge and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced reservations are required. Please complete the reservation form below or call 563-589-4250 for more information.

  • Recycling frames, bags, and lids are available for loan for special events. Trailers for hauling large numbers of frames are also available.


Below you can download the reservation form to reserve recycling units at your next event.


Complete the reservation form on the Special Events Recycling page or call 563-589-4250.

No cost to users for the frames and recycling bags.  The Agency covers the cost of this program to encourage recycling at special events in the community.  The user is requred to provide 40 gallon black trash bags and any kraft yard waste bags for food waste.  The user is responsible for disposing of the materials.  The DMASWA is not a hauler and will not collect the materials collected.

Questions about special event recycling