Maha’s Going Zero Waste This Year

Your favorite nonprofit festival composts or recycles nearly everything. Learn how we do it and how you can help.

April 22, 2022

A recycling monitor volunteer holding down the fort at Maha Festival 2021. Photo by Mike Machian.

When thousands of people come together for a good dose of festival fun, there’s potential to leave behind a pretty huge carbon footprint. To which we say: No, thanks!

Maha Festival is dedicated to going the extra mile with our environmental sustainability initiatives this year. Achieving the ultimate goal of “zero waste status” is a true group effort with involvement from everyone — from food vendors to volunteers.


According to the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), 90 percent or more of everything thrown away at the festival has to be diverted from a landfill via responsible recycling or composting. In other words, after thousands of fans enjoy two days at Maha, we’ll be left with one single dumpster of trash that’s not even full.

In 2021, with your help we kept 3,239 pounds from going to a landfill — enough waste to fill 81 giant heavy-duty trash bags.

How We Do It

At Maha, we try to only use materials that are compostable or recyclable in the first place. For example, all of our food trucks pledge to use compostable plates and utensils. Dozens of volunteers contribute to the movement, powering this initiative by carefully monitoring all of the Zero Waste Stations throughout the festival, answering questions and making sure things go in the right bin. Behind the scenes, our partner Hillside Solutions is hard at work sorting and weighing. And sorting. And weighing. And sorting some more. The goal is to leave no plastic bottle un-recycled, no pizza crust un-composted.

What You Can Do

Use the Zero Waste Stations properly! Not sure which bin to use? Ask a volunteer! Still have some of your drink left in your cup or can? Be sure to finish it before tossing it in.

Volunteer as a Recycling Monitor! This amazing group makes sure the zero waste efforts run smoothly. Plus, you earn a free two-day GA ticket while you’re at it. Learn more and register now.

Don’t bring in extra stuff! Leave things like plastic bags at home so they don’t wind up in the dumpster.

But do bring an empty, refillable water bottle! Fill up at one of the free water stations (thanks to FNBO!).

Consider going car-less! Maha has ample bicycle parking thanks to Mode Shift Omaha.


Special thanks to

for supporting Maha’s sustainability efforts!
Learn more about OPPD.