Zero Waste Event Service

zero waste containers


What is the Zero Waste Event Service

Anyone on campus can now hold their own Zero Waste Event! Fill out the Zero Waste Event application if you're interested or check out the Zero Waste Event Presentation under the Presentations link for more information. You can also contact Service2Facilities to request service (614-292-HELP).


Zero Waste Equipped Facilities

These facilities can host zero waste events at little to no additional costs to the planner.

  • Blackwell Inn and Conference Center
  • Faculty Club
  • Kennedy Commons
  • Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center
  • Ohio Union
  • Pizzuti House
  • Wexner Center for the Arts


Pricing Options

Events not held at one of the above facilities may have to pay for the Zero Waste Event Service. 

Suggested number of containers

We encourage you to think about the space the event will be held in. Visualize the space and determine traffic patterns. Use this information to come up with centralized locations for the zero waste units. Remember, the more centralized your collection is the fewer volunteers you will need to have a successful event!



Casey Slive, event organizer, by one of the zero waste containers Eco-Judaism Event Crowd


“Food, Faith and a Sustainable Future:  Eco Judaism From The Ground Up”

In March 2011, a collaboration of individuals hosted the second ever Zero Waste Event titled: “Food, Faith and a Sustainable Future: Eco Judaism From The Ground Up” at the Ohio Union. Supported by the Gretel Bloch Fund of the Melton Center for Jewish Studies, and co-sponsored with Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources, Energy Services and Sustainability, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, and OSU Hillel, the forum explored Jewish obligations toward the environment and natural world. A significant amount of planning ahead lead to a standing-room-only turnout of over 100 people and zero waste success. Free organic tapas and free local samples were served on small compostable plates. Re-usable cups, forks, spoons, and table clothes were used. Food was served in buffet-style recyclable tin containers, and smaller serving sizes diminished food waste. 20 lbs of compost (80%), 4.9 lbs of recycling (19%), and .1 lbs (1%) of trash were produced, resulting in a highly successful, fun, and educational Zero Waste Event.


“What Is Sustainable Food?”

In April 2011, OSU Net Impact held an event called “What Is Sustainable Food?” at the Ohio 4-H Center on Earth Day. This event focused on issues around the business, economics, and life cycle of sustainable food. This free, one day summit brought together some of Ohio’s leading experts in an exchange of knowledge and ideas. Event planners asked attendees to make every effort to avoid bringing in any outside items that would need to end up in a trash bin and to even bring their own water bottles or coffee thermos’. Over 150 people attended the event, which produced 210 gallons of compost (82.3 %), 30 Gallons of recycling (11.8%), and 15 gallons of trash (5.9%), resulting in a 94% diversion rate! Two Caterers catered the lunch. Between speakers, annoucements were made reminding people what was compostable, what was recyclable, and what was trash. Event volunteers saw what items were being placed in the wrong bin and asked event coordinators to clarify those details in the next announcement.



An important aspect to Ohio State's waste diversion goals is zero waste.  Zero waste refers to avoiding and diverting at least 90 percent of all materials generated from an activity from the landfill. In 2010 the Ohio State Alumni Association held the very first Zero Waste Event on campus.  The event, with over 700 attendees, diverted over 95% of the materials generated.  This event was the catalyst for other zero waste activities on campus.

Brutus Summer Fest 2014

Later that year, the Zero Waste Event service was made available to the campus community.  For a small fee, anyone on campus can request containers for collection of organics and co-mingled recyclables.  Since the program’s launch there have been over 20 events, over 6,675 attendees, and a 96% average diversion rate.

In 2011, Ohio State launched a bold initiative to move the fourth largest stadium in the country, Ohio Stadium, towards zero waste.  The first season of Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium was a huge success.  In 2011, trash sent to the landfill decreased by 61.2 percent, the diversion rate for the season increased 28.8 percentage points, and an 82.4 percent diversion rate was achieved.

Did you know?

Zero Waste means diverting 90% or more waste from a landfill!