The Post-Festival Cleanup: Common Types of Rubbish

It’s that time of the year again: festival season.


Hundreds of thousands of people flock to major music and arts festivals in New South Wales, and across the rest of the country.


Whilst these festivals are fantastic events with plenty of fun for everyone, they have an unfortunate byproduct.


Waste. And plenty of it.


Most of us have seen the pictures online; a paddock or field, littered with abandoned tents, bags of rubbish and all manner of refuse.


This waste has a terrible impact on the environment, and costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. It’s also made up of the same items, year after year.




Too often, people attending festivals purchase a tent for under $50, and treat it as a single use product. In fact, on average, one in four tents are simply abandoned on festival grounds.


In terms of plastic content, the average tent contains as much as 8,750 straws or 250 cups.


When hundreds of tents are dumped, it results in huge plastic pollution. Moreover, it’s a terrible waste of resources, as well as money.




Throughout a festival, revelers often simply throw clothing and decorative outfits away. This culminates in even more pollution, often plastic based.


Food and Drink


As with any major event, there is always food and drink left over.


Huge amounts of food and liquid waste are left by festival goers. As well as the pollution this can cause, the food also attracts rodents and other animals.


That creates a health risk for others that may frequent the area.


Plastic Waste


Most festivals will produce huge amounts of various plastic rubbish.


That often includes things like food containers, plastic wrapping, bottles, cups, decorative items and straws.


However, steps are being taken to reduce the amount of plastic left by festival goers.


For example, this year, Glastonbury festival in the UK went plastic free. This simple action meant that over one million plastic bottles were saved.




Every festival produces a sea of drinking cans, from beer, spirits and soft drink.


Whilst we’re getting better at making sure the cans end up in the right place, aluminium waste is still a big problem.




With festival season comes decorative glitter.


Glitter is a micro plastic, which means it ends up in the soil, waste water and eventually rivers and oceans.


Once there, it causes havoc amongst wildlife and the eco-system.


Glitter can take hundreds of years to break down, while eco-friendlier options like bio glitter only take 28 days to decompose.




To discuss waste removal options for your festival, get in touch with Sydney City Rubbish here.

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