How to party outdoors the environmentally friendly way

Bin colors and categories may be different in your area.

By Katia Pedrotti
Chief, Refuse & Recycling Branch
USAG Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works
O&M Div

Everyone loves a good cookout with the nice weather. It’s a great time to have a little fun in the sun with friends and family. Unfortunately, large gatherings create more trash and waste in our homes and our community. These event recycling tips will help you keep cleaner and greener with ease by helping you reduce waste at the source.

Party and event planning tips

Pre-party planning should include a recycling strategy. Plan ahead, get creative and you’ll be a top-notch hostess. You might just set a good example for the hosts of the next gathering, too.

    • Make recycling easy for everyone in attendance by placing recycling bins near the trash. Clearly (and perhaps creatively) label recycling bins with signs that are clearly visible. Using both words and pictures is a good idea.
    • Choose reusable party plates, utensils and cups instead of buying single-use 

      Reusable plates and silverware, Courtesy of Pexel

      disposable plastic ones which can’t be recycled. If you need more, you can usually buy them very inexpensively at thrift, discount and secondhand shops. After your party, just put them in the dishwasher — instead of dumping them — and store them in a box until your next event.  Or invite your guests to bring their own reusable plates, cup or travel mug to the event.

    • Serve beverages from large containers and dispensers instead of purchasing single bottles or cans of water and soda.
  • If your guests bring side dishes to your party, send them home with their containers.

After party cleaning and proper disposal tips

  • If you have untouched leftover food, send individual portions home with guests in reusable containers.

    Courtesy of Pexel

  • It is no longer necessary to rinse out your plastic containers of yogurt, ice cream etc. Simply ensure that all excess food is cleaned out of the containers and place it in the proper recycling bin together with empty plastic bottles, chip’s bags and laminated plastic like juice and milk boxes.
  • Glass, aluminum and metal cans belongs in the container labeled as glass and cans. Never dump such a precious material into the regular household waste containers that reduce immensely the weight as well of the cost of trash.
  • Ensure that charcoal and ashes are cold by pouring little bit of water before you dispose them in the household container. Dirty napkins, plates, aluminum foil/trays as well as cigarette packages go in the regular household container as well.
  • Last but not least, do not dump your old grill or the propane gas bottles into the household containers; arrange a pick up by contacting the installation coordinator office or refuse and recycling branch at DSN: 420 -7343/0711-819-7343 

For any questions in reference of refuse and recycling, contact your local installation coordinators:

  • Patch Barracks: DSN: 430-5450/0711-680-5450
  • Kelley Barracks & SAAF: DSN: 421-6280/0711-680-6280 and DSN: 430-5450/0711-680-5450
  • Panzer Kaserne: DSN: 431-2806/7031-15-2806
  • Robinson Barracks: DSN: 420-6033/civ. 0711-819-6033
  • Housing Office: DSN: 431-2346/civ. 7031-15-2346
  • Refuse and Recycling Branch at DSN: 420 -7343/0711-819-7343 
  • DPW Environmental contacts: DSN 421-6131 and DSN 421-6135.