Zero Waste Events Program

Each day there are dozens of events on campus which create an enormous amount of waste.  The Zero Waste Program targets this waste by reducing packaging, avoiding single-serve items, and providing compostable ware and compost service to all staff and students on the U-M Ann Arbor Campus.  

The Dirt on Why We Compost

In 2011 the University of Michigan established a goal to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 40% below the 2006 baseline by 2025.  To help achieve this goal and create a culture of sustainability on campus, leadership has made a strong commitment to expanding food waste composting on campus to target the estimated 1/3 of landfilled waste that is compostable. 

A zero waste event works to reduce, recycle and compost as much as possible with the goal to divert waste from the landfill. Interest and commitment to composting at campus events is becoming increasingly popular among students, faculty and staff.  The overall weight of compost collected has increased significantly, from 168 tons in FY 14, to over 633 tons in FY 17.

How We Can Support You

The Zero Waste Events Program provides FREE technical and financial assistance and resources to units, departments and groups to reduce compostable waste being landfilled.  This includes compsotable plates, cups and utensils, as well as compost collection boxes, liners and signage.  We will also help ensure there is a compost cart at the dock of the building in which the event is being held.

To increase the program reach and impact, compost collection carts are being added to loading docks and serviced regularly in buildings with food service or that frequently host events and have departments committed to composting.  Regardless of whether your event is in one of the buildings with existing compost service we can provide compost service the day of the event. Just give us a week's notice!  

Contact us as soon as possible to start planning for composting at your event!

             Staff:   email zerowaste@umich.edu 
             Students:  email ssi-zerowaste@umich.edu or fill out this Materials Request Form

 

Resources

Planning Your Event

Caterers and Vendors

Communicating Zero Waste Message to Event Attendees