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Co-locate your waste bins and label each bin with proper signage to ensure that guests are correctly sorting their waste.

  • All rooms in Kimmel will have a landfill, recycling, and compost bin.
  • Submit a Work Request Form if you hold events in your office/department and need waste bins (landfill and recycling) and signage.


Catered events in Kimmel will be supplied with a compost bin. All food scraps, napkins, and compostable serviceware can go into this bin. Compost collection is only required in Kimmel, but if you are hosting a small event outside of Kimmel and someone from your team would like to personally drop off food scraps for composting, DSNY has many food scrap drop-off locations city-wide.

  • A full list of accepted and prohibited materials can be found at the link above. We recommend setting aside a bin at your event with a sign that lists these items.

Grounds and Waste Management (recycling@nyu.edu) can be contacted for inquiries regarding composting at NYU, including the coordination of one-time pickups for large outdoor University-wide events (i.e. Grad Alley). These requests are subject to the approval of facilities, custodial services, and catering. Event planners should ensure that select volunteers and event staff are trained on what is acceptable for compost collection and stationed at the bin areas to assist event attendees in disposing their waste properly.

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  • Look for items that are BPI Compostable Certified.
  • Note: pursue this option only if you will also have a system for proper disposal. Compostable serviceware can be processed only by industrial composting facilities, including the one that services Kimmel and NYU dining halls through our waste hauler (as of early 2020, Action Carting). They will not break down in the landfill and cannot be processed by a plastic recycling facility.
  • Note: “biodegradable” does not equate “compostable”. By definition, a biodegradable object “can break down without oxygen and turn into carbon dioxide, water and biomass.” However, manufacturers are not required to disclose the amount of time that this process takes, and will often label their products as biodegradable as a form of greenwashing. A compostable product, on the other hand, must break down in 90 days.


  • For events hosted outside of the Kimmel Center, reusable serviceware can be rented from a number of i-Buy-approved vendors, including:
  • Note: rented reusable serviceware will cost more than using compostable. On the other hand, ordering less food and making plant-forward menu selections may save money, so there might be a trade-off.


  • Sturdy, reusable badges can be purchased from W.B. Mason.
    • At the end of the event, set aside and label an area for guests to drop off their badges near the exit that is available even to guests who leave early. Recycle the tags and reuse the sleeves.
    • Be wary of “eco-friendly” disposable adhesive name tags, even if they are made from recycled content or are listed as recyclable. The likelihood that they will be recycled is not as high as a plain sheet of paper, so we recommend the reusable option instead.

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