The City of Austin’s Zero Waste Event Rebate is an incentive for organizers to make their outdoor events more sustainable and help reduce the amount of trash sent to area landfills. Earn up to $750 in rebates to expand or improve your zero waste program at your next event. 

Determine event eligibility

The rebate is available for events that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Interested in expanding zero waste programs beyond the minimum requirements 
  • Located within the Austin city limits
  • Affected by, and in compliance with, the Special Event Ordinance
  • Held outdoors
  • Open to the public
  • Expected to draw a minimum of 500 attendees/spectators

Decide how to use the rebate

The rebate can be used for the following options:

  1. Compost service

    • Collection Service: Hire a licensed hauler to provide compost service for your event.

  2. Compost equipment

    • Bins: Rent or purchase compost bins to collect food scraps, soiled paper products and compostable serving ware. 
    • Bags: Purchase BPI-certified compostable bags to collect food scraps, soiled paper products and compostable serving ware.
    • Signage: Purchase signs to use at your compost collection station(s) that clearly indicate compostable materials that are appropriate for the bin.
    • Serving ware: Purchase BPI-certified items (like bowls, plates, cups or to-go containers) for food functions at your event.
  3. Litter crew

    • Bin maintenance: Contract with a service provider to have personnel stationed at waste and diversion locations to help attendees place items in correct waste bins.

    • Onsite material sorting: Contract with a service provider to sort and separate material collected at the event to divert additional material.

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

    • Register as a vendor with the City of Austin. (Note: If you are already a vendor with the City of Austin, there is no need to re-register. Ensure the name submitted on invoices is the name or alias on your registered vendor account. If names do not match, rebate payments may be delayed.)

    • Submit a rebate application.

  2. Purchase eligible supplies and/or services

    • Contract with a licensed private hauler for collection services and/or purchase supplies and materials. Ensure all required information is part of the service contract and will be shown on invoices, including:

      • Cost of all services (including landfill trash, recycling and compost)

      • Size and quantity of all collection containers, dumpsters or bins (including landfill trash, recycling and compost)

      • Weight tickets for all event material collected, including recycling, landfill trash and composting.  

  3. Host your event 

  4. Submit payment information, weight tickets and complete exit interview

    • Submit itemized receipts and invoices for supplies and materials to us via email

      • If applying the rebate to collection services, submit copies of itemized invoices that include the cost of all services, including quantity and size for all collection containers (dumpsters and bins). 
      • Submit weight tickets for all event material collected, including recycling, landfill trash and composting.  
    • Complete an 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 30 days of the event terminating.)
  5. Receipt of Payment

    • Please allow eight to 10 weeks from the date the City receives the post-event submission to receive your rebate check.

Rebate limitations

  • The Zero Waste Event rebate cannot exceed $750 per eligible event. 
  • The event organizer is eligible to receive the rebate for a maximum of two events per calendar year.
  • Collection services must be provided through a licensed private hauler.  
  • Rebates are available to eligible participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Rebate reservations or rain checks are not accepted.

Other restrictions apply.