What Going Green Means at Maha

The festival made history last year when it went zero waste. Let’s do it again this summer.

April 1, 2023

A Maha volunteer helps make history at the 2022 festival. Photo by Ben Semisch.

April is National Volunteer Month and Earth Month — two major things to celebrate in the Mahasphere. In 2022, Maha’s fearless volunteer team (one of the biggest and most awesome teams for miles around) helped this become one of the largest events in the state of Nebraska to achieve a zero waste goal, proving Maha’s not messing around when it comes to reducing its carbon footprint.  

Hardly anything makes it from Maha Festival to the landfill.

“Zero waste” means more than 90% of trash is composted or responsibly recycled. Last year, the amount of trash saved from the landfill would have filled 118 XL trash bags. 

At Maha, you’ll find four-stream Zero Waste Stations throughout the festival, including regular trash bins and these three: 

Compost: Food scraps and even some utensils and cups will be transformed back into soil at an industrial composting site down the street. In 2022, we did this with 1,405 pounds of waste. 

Recycling: Aluminum cans, plastic cups, and so on.

Hefty ReNew™ bags: For the stuff that’s hard to recycle at most facilities, like candy wrappers and chip bags. 

You’ll also see vendors using compostable or recyclable materials. 

You’ll see the dedicated team from Hillside Solutions. (Check out their behind-the-scenes mini-doc about how we almost missed the mark last year.)

But the biggest thing you’ll notice is that the Zero Waste Stations have a friendly and knowledgeable volunteer monitoring each one. This is key to making sure nothing gets mixed up or contaminated. Without these volunteers, zero waste at Maha would not be possible.

Want to be a Zero Waste Monitor?

It’s easy — we’ll provide training on everything you need to know. All you need to do is chill at your Zero Waste Station for a few hours (under an umbrella for shade!) and guide attendees on which bin to use if they’re unsure.

In exchange, you’ll earn a free two-day Maha Festival ticket (valued at $100+). 

Sign up for a Zero Waste Monitor shift by April 30 and be entered to win a Zero Waste Hero prize package! Includes:

  • A year-long subscription to the Hillside Solutions Compost Club (valued at $107.88), making composting at home extremely easy for Omaha-area residents. And, you get free soil in exchange. Learn more about the Compost Club here.
  • A set of bamboo reusable utensils, courtesy of Maha’s sustainability sponsor, OPPD
  • An Ultimate Volunteer Care Package, courtesy of Maha’s volunteer sponsor, OrthoNebraska

Claim your Zero Waste Monitor shift today! 


All 2023 Zero Waste Monitor volunteers who registered prior to April — anytime up to 11:59 CT on April 30 —  will be entered to win the Zero Waste Hero prize package. No purchase necessary. Must be 18 or older to win. Maha will contact the winner via email. 


Special thanks to

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