Waste not, want not. Resources in Savannah make it possible for you to both recycle waste and compost leftover food at you event’s end. However, the best possible alternative is minimizing waste from the start. Waste minimization efforts help reduce the amount of trash that needs to be recycled and cuts down on material use, the energy required to produce it, and the extra fuel for transporting it to your event.
There are a variety of measures that can be taken when planning your event to reduce the overall amount of waste generated.
The use of glass or china plates, cups, and glasses (for options see page 29) prevents the consumption of resources needed to recycle plastic dishware. While china still needs to be washed, it takes significantly less energy and water than the recycling process does. Along a similar vein, cloth napkins reduce paper waste. The same is true for reusable coasters, preferred over cocktail napkins. If paper napkins cannot be avoided, postconsumer recycled paper is a solid option (more on this on page 29). Consider ordering product in bulk to reduce packaging. This includes items such as condiments, which can be served from larger containers rather than individual servings. If you and your guests are staying at a hotel, instruct staff to not replace consumables (soaps, shampoo, etc.) each day unless they are empty. While these actions may seem insignificant, cumulatively they have a significant impact.
Recycling is one of the most basic and visible actions you can have at your green event. These days, no event could be labeled ‘green’ without available recycling. Recycling in Savannah has become easier in the past few years with the addition of numerous private firms that provide the service as well as the single stream recycling program available from the City of Savannah. The single stream means you don’t have to sort materials into different bins. All recyclable materials – paper, plastic, cardboard, cans, and glass – can go into one bin while trash goes into another.
City of Savannah
14 Interchange Court
Savannah, Georgia 31415
Phone: 912-651-1967 or call 311
The City of Savannah will provide bins for recycling at events. The event is responsible for pickup of the bins as well as returning the bins and the materials to the Recycling Complex.
Fisher Recycling provides commercial and residential recycling services with a focus on restaurants, hotels, and offices. Fisher has also provided recycling at large events such as Octoberfest on River Street and the Snug Harbor Fireworks in Hilton Head. Free waste audits are also available to businesses.
Footprint Savannah recognized the need for single-stream commercial recycling and has developed a friendly and affordable service to collect a variety of materials from restaurants and bars, hotels, offices, receptions and special events, and golf courses. Their mission is to educate, encourage, and involve Savannah businesses in the opportunities to redirect and recycle post-consumer waste and provide them with a simple, efficient recycling solution. They hope to reduce the amount of commercial waste that ends up in local landfills and offer conscientious companies the chance to reduce their overall environmental footprint.
Tree Frog Recycling
Tree Frog Recycling primarily focuses on household and business recycling but can provide event specific recycling services, including bins and hauling off the materials.
Composting is a great strategy for waste minimization. It is an easy way to prevent yard and food waste from ending up in a landfill. Compost is a fantastic material and is extremely rich in nutrients. It is used as a natural soil amendment and can significantly increase the yields from your garden or farm.
If you have a significant amount of leftover food the best way to dispose of it is to donate the leftovers to local organizations that feed the needy, such as Second Harvest Food Bank or the Savannah City Mission.
Given that we live in the Lowcountry, oyster shells deserve their own category. Oyster roasts result in hundreds of pounds of shells that can be collected, bagged, and used to create both new oyster habitats and stabilize stream banks against erosion. Recycle shells from private roasts, restaurants, or catering groups by visiting one of the drop-off centers or by calling the UGA Marine Extension Service to organize a shell collection.
Oyster Shell Drop-Off Locations: The three main shell recycling centers are located on Tybee Island, Jekyll Island, and Brunswick. Shell drop-off trailers will also be available at Sea Island and Richmond Hill.
Jekyll Island Shell Recycling Center
South Riverview Drive
Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 am. – 2:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday from daylight to noon
Tybee Island Shell Recycling Center
Polk Street, Tybee Island Public Works
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
UGA Marine Extension Service
Shellfish Research Laboratory
20 Ocean Science Circle
Savannah, Georgia 31411-1011
Phone: 912-598-2348; Fax: 912-598-2399
For more information about additional shell drop off options or to call:
Call to request a trailer for a large oyster roast ( >10 bushels).