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Special Event Waste Management

Race event.
Are you hosting a large public event in San José, on public property, with 2,000 or more daily attendees? State law requires you to reduce the amount of waste generated and to maximize recycling.

San José Environmental Services Department provides free dumpster service for public events on public property with a minimum of 2,000 daily attendees, which fulfills the state requirement.

Follow these steps to receive free dumpster service for your event: 

Send your request to
at least 45 days prior to the start of your event. In your email, include: 

  • The name of your event;
  • Dates and location;
  • The anticipated number of daily attendees;
  • The number and size of dumpsters you need;
  • Where the dumpsters should be dropped. Note: dumpsters are not dropped or picked up on weekends, only on weekdays.

In addition, complete the following:

  • Address how you will manage waste at your event in your Special Event Permit Application. For details, see the Special Event Guidelines from the City's Office of Cultural Affairs. 
  • All food and beverages must be served in recyclable or compostable food service containers, including utensils. Food and drinks cannot be sold in Styrofoam containers. See the Food & Beverage Products: The Do's & Don'ts of Sustainable Selection guide as well as the Green Your Event Checklist.
  • In compliance with the City's plastic bag ban, no plastic bags are allowed. 
  • Announce three environmental messages daily during the event, provided with service confirmation. (English, Spanish, Vietnamese)

Public events smaller than 2,000 attendees:
Events on a public street, publicly owned plaza, paseo, or park with fewer less than 2,000 daily attendees that are open to the public pay for dumpsters through the City’s contractor.

You will be billed by the City after the event. If choosing this option, coordinate this with your Special Event Application through the San José Office of Cultural Affairs 45 days prior to your event.

For events being held in San José parks, visit the Parks Department’s Festivals and Events page. Block parties held in San José should use the residential carts or collection system from the neighborhood holding the block party instead of a dumpster.

For questions or assistance, please contact .

Private events: 
Events on private property are ineligible for free dumpster service, and must be ordered from the City's franchised hauler, Republic Services. Call their customer service at (408) 432-1234.