The City of Austin’s Zero Waste Business Rebate is an incentive for businesses to expand and improve their diversion program and help reduce the amount of trash sent to area landfills. Eligible applicants can earn up to $1,800 in rebates.

Determine business eligibility

The rebate is available to commercial businesses, non-profits and multifamily properties that meet all of the following criteria:

Decide how to use the rebate

The rebate can be used for the following options:

  • Provide interior recycling bins. This option is only available to multifamily properties.
  • Start an organics diversion program (such as composting) at your property or business. This option is not available to food-permitted businesses.
  • Expand your food rescue infrastructure to distribute food to persons earning 50% or less of the Median Family Income (MFI) in Austin.
  • Switch from using plastic bags to paper and/or reusable bags.
  • Switch from foam, plastic containers and/or cups to certified compostable or reusable alternatives.
  • Switch from plastic straws to compostable or reusable straws.

Follow the rebate process

There are five steps in the rebate process. You must follow all steps in order.

  1. Check eligibility and apply for the rebate

    • Review the rebate terms and conditions.

    • Submit a rebate application (accepted from October 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021).

    • Complete an in-person or virtual site visit (must be conducted by August 1, 2021).

    • Receive application approval.

  2. Purchase eligible supplies and/or services​​​​​​

  3. Submit payment information

    • Submit itemized receipts and invoices for materials and services
  4. Receipt of payment

    • Please allow eight to 10 weeks from the date the payment information is submitted to receive your rebate check.
  5. Compete exit interview

    • Complete the exit interview with City staff by phone or in person to discuss successes, challenges and lessons learned from your diversion efforts. Interview must be completed within six months of receiving final payment of the rebate funds from the City.

Rebate limitations

  • Rebate cannot exceed $1,800 per eligible location.
  • Rebate funding may be used at one property per owning entity or property management company per fiscal year.
  • Collection services must be provided through a licensed private hauler.
  • Rebate funds are not guaranteed. Rebates are available to eligible participants on a first-come, first-served basis and there is a limited amount of funding available for each category of eligible expenses. Rebate reservations or rain checks are not accepted.

Other restrictions apply.