The City of Austin offers a Zero Waste Event Rebate of up to $750.00 per event for events located within the City of Austin full purpose jurisdiction. To receive the rebate, the event must meet the Zero Waste Event Rebate eligibility requirements and must otherwise comply with these rules, terms, and conditions.

How is the rebate amount determined?

  • The City calculates the rebate amount for each event based on the total cost of eligible landfill diversion services used for the event. The City makes this calculation after the event organizer submits all required post-event documentation. The City has sole discretion to determine the final rebate amount.
  • The event organizer is responsible for landfill diversion costs that exceed the calculated rebate amount.   
  • Rebate funds are not guaranteed. The rebate funds are available on a first come, first served basis. There is no reservation or rain check system.

Eligibility requirements for the rebate

  • The event organizer must submit the Zero Waste Event Rebate application at least 14 calendar days before the event start date. Submission of an application does not guarantee rebate eligibility or funding.
  • The rebate is only available for landfill diversion services that exceed the City’s minimum requirements for waste management, waste reduction, and diversion plans for events, as provided in City Code Section 4-20-44 and the applicable special event rules. Landfill diversion services required by City Code and the special event rules are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • The event organizer must register as a City of Austin vendor and provide a Vendor ID Number on the application form.
  • The event organizer is eligible to receive the rebate for a maximum of two events per calendar year.
  • The event must comply with City Code Chapter 4-20 (Special Events).
  • The event must be an outdoor event within the City of Austin’s full purpose jurisdiction, and must be open to the public. The event is not required to be free to the public, but the public must have equal access to purchase tickets and attend the event.
  • The event shall expect to draw a minimum of 500 attendees/spectators.

Requirements after the City approves the rebate application

Once the City approves the rebate application, the event organizer agrees to comply with the following requirements in order to receive rebate funds:

  • Submit weight tickets from diverted material and itemized invoices for diversion services or collection services received. The City will not provide reimbursement to an event organizer who fails to provide itemized invoices.
  • Certify in writing that all invoices are authentic and /or true and correct statements of expenses incurred for the event as part of this rebate program.
  • Complete an exit interview with City staff, either by phone or in person, to discuss the successes, challenges, and lessons learned from the event’s landfill diversion efforts. The event organizer must complete the interview within 30 days after the event ends.    

What may the rebate be used for?

The rebate may be used for the following:

  • Compost service

    • Collection service – service fees associated with hiring a licensed hauler to provide compost service at the event.
  • Compost equipment

    • Bins – purchase or rental of 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 (e.g. bowls, plates, cups, or to-go containers) for food functions at your event.
  • Litter crew

    • Bin maintenance – contract with a service provider to provide 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.

What may the rebate not be used For?

The rebate may not be used for taxes, deposits, service contamination fees, or any service not specifically allowed under these rules, terms, and conditions, unless pre-approved by City staff.

Additional rules, terms, and conditions

  • The event organizer understands that the City may amend or terminate the Zero Waste Event Rebate Program without notice. Rebate refunds are not guaranteed. 
  • The event organizer agrees not to use or distribute single-use carryout bags, expanded polystyrene, or glass containers at events held at park facilities or on public rights of way.
  • The event organizer understands that the City is not a party to any contract between the event organizer and any vendors or service providers. The City will not intervene in the event of an event organizer’s dispute with a third party.
  • The event organizer acknowledges that receipt of funds is contingent upon meeting all rebate requirements and otherwise complying with these Rules, Terms, and Conditions
  • The event organizer hereby releases and agrees not to hold liable the City of Austin, its elected officials, officers, agents, and employees from any and all claims of any kind arising from the event organizer’s participation in the Zero Waste Event Rebate program. The event organizer further recognizes that this is not a contract or debt of the City.
  • An event organizer shall be DISQUALIFIED from the Zero Waste Event Rebate Program if the event organizer violates the City Code, other City regulations, state or federal law, or the Rules, Terms, and Conditions of this Program.
  • An event organizer shall be DISQUALIFIED if the event organizer fails to pay taxes, as required by the City Charter, Article VIII § 1 (Taxes—Arrears of Offset to Debt Against City).
  • The event organizer acknowledges that the City will not disburse the rebate funds if the event organizer violates any of these Rules, Terms, and Conditions. If the event organizer is found to have violated these Rules, Terms, and Conditions after the City has paid the funds, the event organizer shall owe and agrees to repay the City for the full amount of the rebate.

The event organizer agrees to the rules, terms, and conditions of the Zero Waste Event Rebate Program.