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Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative

Zero Waste Initiative

University and Community Collaborators:

Rural Action; Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs


The Appalachia Ohio Zero Waste Initiative (AOZWI) is a comprehensive collaboration within Southeast Ohio that is turning waste into resources and changing the way the region thinks about waste. Since the Sugar Bush Foundation’s incubation of the AOZWI in 2010, recycling rates in Athens and Hocking Counties have doubled. The feasibility study that AOZWI conducted led to the building of the new Athens Hocking Recycling Center, which now employs over 30 people. Rural communities now have recycling drop-off sites and dump site cleanups. AOZWI formed Zero Waste Events, a small business that helps local event organizers sort the event waste, diverting over 90 percent to recycling and composting. The City of Athens and many local businesses have also taken the Zero Waste Action Pledge to improve recycling within their buildings. O'Bleness Hospital took the Zero Waste Pledge and has now published a five-year sustainability plan.

Learn More:

O’Bleness Hospital announces five-year path towards sustainability, Times-Journal, June 2018

Rural Action’s Website

The Nelsonville Music Festival and Sustainability

How do we achieve Zero Waste at big events?

Waste not,   ohio today Spring 2016

Funding period:   2010/2011 — 2018/19

Funding to date:  $1,264,964

2018/2019: $100,000

2017/2018: $125,000

2016/2017: $150,000

2015/2016: $85,000

2014/2015: $170,632

2013/2014: $179,252

2012/2013: $175,000

2011/2012: $175,080

2010/2011: $105,000