Banner Photo: Calgary Folk Music Festival

About the Project


Project Update: April 28, 2023

Thank you to festival and event organizers and waste service providers for providing your feedback in phase one of engagement. Please click here to view our What We Heard Report. We are now taking into consideration the feedback to identify next steps for the project deliverables.


The City of Calgary wants to learn about experiences with waste service changes for festivals and events hosted on City land, with a goal to better support the festival and event industry.

In the past, festival and event organizers could choose between City-delivered waste services or privately delivered services. Since 2022, City-delivered service for attendees and vendors is no longer available* to event organizers; however, organizers remain responsible to ensure there is adequate garbage, recycling, and compost service available for vendors and attendees at their event.

* The City continues to provide roll-off containers for a fee that festival and event organizers can deposit materials collected throughout their event site into.

More Information

Over the past few years, there have been significant changes to how festival and event organizers set up and manage their waste collection and removal from an event site and how this has been supported through City funding. These changes have resulted in various concerns being raised by the event industry. The City of Calgary wants to understand how to support the festival and event industry as it adapts to these changes.

After a financial review, The City determined that it could not continue providing waste services to events due to a lack of staff, trucks and budget to cover the program costs.

Currently, there are many private service providers that can be contracted for waste removal from an event site. There are also companies that can provide on-site containers for attendees and vendors to sort their recycling, compost, and garbage.

What remains unclear is:

  • Who provides these services for the festivals and events industry,
  • The range of services that these companies offer,
  • If they are able to service all event sizes or if they have a minimum event size,
  • Their capacity for growth,
  • Their ability to collaborate to provide one-stop service for customers, and
  • If they provide waste diversion reporting.


Provide Your Input

The City would like to better understand the experiences of festival and event organizers, food vendors, and waste service providers around changes to waste services at festival and event sites. As part of this engagement, we want to identify gaps and opportunities to support the festival and event industry.

Next Steps

Your feedback from phase one engagement will help inform recommendations about the future of waste at festivals and events. Please view the phase one What We Heard Report here.

If you have questions or comments about this project, please email: