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College Ball Sustainability Project

The College Ball Sustainability Project is a student group passionate about helping the Cambridge College Balls, June Events and Garden Parties become more sustainable.

We aim to do this by providing practical, evidence-based advice to these events in the form of our Guide, which covers areas such as food & drink, caterers, publicity, waste, bank accounts and stash clothing. The Guide has been sent to committees by email and post and made available online as a PDF. For 2009-10, we're looking to turn it into a mini-site.

In addition, our Recycling Service has provided trained teams of enthusiastic recyclers plus experienced supervisors to over thirty events since 2005-06; in total we've kept about 40,000 guests' recyclable waste out of landfill. Because we do this every year, we've pretty much got event recycling sussed. If you're thinking about implementing your own scheme, then we'd be more than happy to help you think it through. For starters, don't put bins out for your guests!

If, however, you're thinking about not recycling at your event, then shame on you (to be honest)! May Balls generate literally tonnes of recyclable waste and this should be disposed of responsibly. Not only will your guests, VIPs and staff expect recycling, but you may actually find it's more expensive not to recycle given the new landfill taxes.

Of course, since CBSP is a student volunteer-run operation, all our services are free of charge.

Event history

In 2008-09, CBSP has so far worked with Fitzwilliam Winter Ball, Selwyn Snow Ball and Churchill Spring Ball. In May Week we'll be working at: Hughes Hall, Peterhouse, Murray Edwards Garden Party, Wyvern's Garden Party (advice only), Trinity, Clare, Queens', Downing (advice only), St. John's, King's, Magdalene, Pembroke (advice + kit only), Trinity Hall, Newnham Garden Party, Corpus and Darwin College May Balls.

In 2007-08 we worked with Selwyn Snow Ball, Churchill Spring Ball, Girton Spring Ball, King's Mingle Michaelmas & Lent, New Hall Garden Party, King's Affair, Clare, Trinity, St John's, Caius, Trinity Hall, Pembroke, St Catherine's, Sidney Sussex and Darwin College May Balls.

In 2006-07: King's Mingle Michaelmas & Lent, Churchill Spring Ball, King's Affair, Trinity Hall June Event, Trinity, Emmanuel, St. John's, Queens' and Pembroke College May Balls.

In 2005-06: Hughes Hall, Jesus, Pembroke and Sidney Sussex May Balls.

What they've said...

"I will definitely be recommending the services of the ball sustainability project to the 2008 Sidney Mayball committee, and would strongly urge other balls to do the same. It is a fantastic initiative, which not only makes the committee's life a whole lot easier but also tackles the major, and inexcusable, problem of waste that all balls face. Efficient waste collection and recycling is really not hard to implement, particularly when there is a team of dedicated and enthusiastic people to take on the responsibility. Thank you!" Catherine Parker, Workers Officer, Sidney Sussex May Ball Committee 2006

"I'll certainly recommend that we use your team again." Chris Hurn, Pembroke May Ball 2007 Employment Officer


For more information about anything in the Guide, to enquire about the Recycling Service or to help out CBSP, please contact the President, Jen Moore, on <>.