Zero Waste Program

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.

As approximatley 35% of our landfilled waste is compostable, leadership has made a strong commitment to expanding food waste composting on campus. Increasing efforts to divert compostable material supports the waste reduction goal and helps create a culture of sustainability.

A zero waste event works to reduce, recycle and compost as much as possible with the goal to achieve as much waste diversion from the landfill as possible. 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 226 tons in FY 15.

The Zero Waste Program provides technical assistance and resources to units, departments and groups to reduce compostable waste being landfilled, and is open to all on the U-M Ann Arbor Campus. Contact us as soon as possible to tell us about your event so that we can assure your event will be successful.

To start planning for composting at your event:

1) Review the Zero Waste Composting Guide

2) Contact us for assistance in making your events zero waste:
             Staff:   email 
             Students:  email or fill out this Materials Request Form

3) If needed, submit a Work Order for compost service (instructions can be found in the guide)

Buildings with Regular Compost Service
To increase the program reach and impact, an expanded zero waste events program will be phased in across campus.  Compost collection carts will be placed at the docks and serviced regularly in the buildings with food service or that frequently host events.  Once vetted through these locations, the program will be expanded to include additional locations.  If you have questions about whether your building has existing service, contact us at


Planning Your Event

Caterers and Vendors

Communicating Zero Waste Message to Event Attendees