Zero Waste Events

What is a Zero Waste Event?

A zero waste event aims to reduce waste, recycle and compost as much as possible to divert waste from the landfill. Zero waste events are an important contribution to U-M’s waste reduction goal. Our assistance is primarily related to composting, but we highly encourage waste reduction and use of reusables as part of your event planning. Read below for ways the Zero Waste Event Program can provide free support for you.

Your Zero Waste Commitment

If you are hosting a zero waste event on campus and receiving support from OCS, you are expected to:

  • Communicate with your food provider your goal to go zero waste (e.g. no excess packaging, bulk options where possible, etc).
  • Let attendees know it is a zero waste event and where to compost. If the event is large or open, you will need to have volunteers at the bins to help direct attendees. (OCS may be able to help secure volunteers, but not guaranteed.)
  • Set up compost collection boxes and ensure the bags of compost are placed into compost carts for pick-up following your event.

We have resources to help you with these steps below or you are welcome to email us for assistance.

How We Can Support You

The Zero Waste Events Program provides FREE technical assistance and resources to departments and groups for on-campus events. We provide and arrange for:

  • Compostable tableware, such as plates, cups and utensils
  • Compost collection boxes and liners
  • Signage
  • Compost service the day of your event (if the building doesn’t already have regular compost service). Just give us a week’s notice!



If you haven’t hosted a zero waste event before (or need a refresher), email to have a member of our staff give you and your group a short training.


Questions? Email