Current Projects and Resources Leadership Service Members Partners and Sponsors

Rural Action’s Zero Waste program promotes the development of a zero-waste economy. In a zero-waste economy, product development prioritizes conservation of natural resources, product design incorporates ways to facilitate and encourage post-consumer reuse, repair, recycling, or composting, and all discards become assets that benefit the people, the planet, and the local economy. We support this ideal through general education about waste reduction & recycling, waste assessments of facilities, schools and organizations, zero waste events, social entrepreneurship, and the implementation of the Athens-Hocking Zero Waste Action Plan.

Whether you’re planning a family reunion or a major business meeting, Rural Action’s Zero Waste program is here to support and educate you. Reuse. Recycle. Compost. Repair. Let us help you minimize your impact on the planet.

Current Projects and Resources

The Zero Waste Pledge

Rural Action’s Zero Waste Pledge program encourages local organizations to strive for zero waste. We help facilities, schools, and organizations achieve their goals by working one-on-one with them to identify waste that is being produced and ways to reduce it.

Taking the Zero Waste Pledge shows that an establishment, be it a business, a school, or an organization, is committed to using natural resources wisely, increasing its environmental consciousness, and supporting the local economy through improvement in waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. See a list of organizations that have taken the Zero Waste Pledge.

Learn More

Zero Waste Events & Guide

Everyone is talking about Zero Waste. Here’s your chance to do something about it. This event guide is a resource for organizations or individuals planning any event: from a small family get together to a festival or conference. The goal of this guide is to help you reduce environmental impact, increase cost-effectiveness, and raise awareness about waste reduction.

Learn More

Reusable Dishware

In an effort to help reduce waste, Rural Action will loan organizations and individuals plastic reusable plates, bowls, and cups, a full set of cutlery and three washtub bins. This service is free. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in making sure that all items borrowed are returned clean, sanitized, and in perfect working condition.

Reserve Dishware

DIY Composting Webinar

Did you miss our compositing webinar? Never fear! We recorded it so you can view this free class on the benefits, effectiveness, and joy of backyard composting! Learn how to easily turn your refuse into a resource through backyard composting or curbside compost pick-up. Your home’s garden and flower beds will thank you in the spring!

Watch Video

Can This Be Recycled?

How many times have you stood over the recycling bin wondering if something is recyclable? Check out our list of various materials with details on if and how they can be recycled with Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers. Outside the Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers’ service area? Contact your local solid waste district or recycling hauler with questions about what can and can’t be recycled in your area!

Can I Recycle This?

Zero Waste Event Productions

Zero Waste Event Productions began as an initiative in the Zero Waste program and now is a standalone social enterprise that helped 40 festivals in 11 states divert more than 58 tons of material diverted from landfills in 2019. And they’re just getting started!

Zero Waste Action Plan

The Zero Waste Action Plan for Athens and Hocking Counties aims to provide a unified vision and path for a robust waste management system that will enable Athens and Hocking counties to work towards becoming a zero-waste economy.


Maria Bonner

Maria Bonner

Zero Waste Program Manager

Aaron Dye

Aaron Dye

Land Bank Manager, Athens County Land Bank


National Service Members

Each year, Rural Action mobilizes more than 35 energetic and passionate people across the region to help small communities do big things through our Leadership Development and Service program. Our National Service members serve in communities through a yearlong commitment as part of our Appalachian Ohio Restore Corps, an AmeriCorps State/National program administered by Rural Action, or our through our AmeriCorps VISTA program, Rural Renewal. See members who are currently serving with Rural Action here or learn more about how we are growing local leaders here.

Partners and Sponsors

Athens County Foundation
The Sugar Bush Foundation
USDA – Rural Utilities Service
Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers
Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs

Whether you’re planning a family reunion or a major business meeting, Rural Action’s Zero Waste program is here to support and educate you. Reuse. Recycle. Compost. Repair. Let us help you minimize your impact on the planet.