Free Zero-Waste Materials

SSI can help you make your event more sustainable. Follow the steps below in order to request materials or support in making your event zero waste. Please note that as a student group, we provide resources and support when school is in session.*  

What to do:

  1. Fill out our Zero Waste Materials Request Form to request compostable materials for your event
  2. Watch the zero waste event training video below:

Event planners, please watch the Event Planner Training Video in advance of coordinating with caterers/vendors

3. Locate the most appropriate bin for post-event compost disposal - Central Campus in the Union, North Campus at EECS, or in a personal Ann Arbor City bin

4. After your event please complete our Post-event Survey and send any photos or blog materials to


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Where do I drop off compost bags after the event?

Drop off your compost bags at the EECS loading dock on North Campus, at the Union Loading Dock on Central Campus, or in any personal Ann Arbor compost cart. Consult the SSI Compost Cart Map for more detailed directions. 

2. What do I do with extra materials from the event?

Please bring all extra materials back to either the Graham Institute (above Starbucks on Liberty and State) anytime Monday - Friday from 9am - 4pm, or the EECS bullpen on North Campus. Please return your materials as soon as possible, and let the SSI Board know how much you returned.

3. I know I can find this information in the Zero Waste Event Guide posted above, but just to make sure... which items are compostable?

Compostable items are listed on the new UM Compost Poster, which you can print and use for your event, and discussed on page 9 of the UM Zero Waste Event Guide. Compostable items include all organic wastes, including food, napkins, coffee grounds and filters, toothpicks and compostable plastics. All eating materials and the compost bin liner that you receive from SSI through the Zero Waste Event program (plates, cups, utensils, compost bin liners) are compostable, however the bags that the materials come in (e.g. the plastic around the plates and cups) are NOT compsotable; please throw these wrappers in the trash. 

4. What should I do if I can't tell whether something is compostable or not?

Non-compostable wastes AND items that you aren't sure about must be thrown in the trash. If non-compostable items end up in the compostables collection bins, it degrades the quality of the finished compost, resulting in an unusable product. See the UM Zero Waste Event Guide and watch the Zero Waste Event Training video for more information. 

Additional Zero Waste Resources:

For resources and support during the summer, please contact to reach the Office of Campus Sustainability.