General FAQ's

Waste Not is CSULB’s new waste reduction and diversion program designed to help the university achieve its goal of becoming a zero waste campus (90% diversion rate) by 2030. Founded on the principle of “waste not, want not,” the program will promote policies and programs that reduce wasteful practices on campus while simulatanously diverting more material from landfill by introducing a mixed recycling stream into our current waste management system.

Zero waste is a goal or strategy that aims to eliminate the amount of waste generated by drawing inspiration from similar processes that exist in nature, where all resources are reused, returned, or recycled.

We live on a finite planet with finite resources, yet we operate in a linear system of extraction, use and disposal that produces a great amount of unnecessary waste. Going zero waste will help us conserve and recover natural resources as they become scarce, and will help CSULB lower its carbon footprint and meet its goal of achieving climate neutrality.

The new 2-stream bins will be added gradually across campus starting with the Library as the first building to implement the Waste Not program. You will start to see more Zero Waste Stations popping up in building main hallways and corridors, select breakrooms and central exterior locations. 

Unfortunately, there are currently no local facilities available that can properly process our compostable materials (food waste combined with soiled paper). The University is commited to finding a solution for diverting compostable materials from landfill! For now, we are composting "behind the scenes". Compost bins will be strategically placed in food prep and other back-of-the-house areas on campus, but we are looking to expand the composting program in the near future. Until we do, we ask that you: 1.) Do all you can to minimize the waste you produce, and 2.) Discard food scraps and soiled paper (i.e. napkins, places, cups) in the Landfill/Trash bin. 

Glass, plastics (#1 - 7), metal, cardboard, and most clean paper all go into the mixed recycling bins.  If paper does not have food waste or liquids on it, it is recycleable. After being collected, the recycling will be hauled to a facility where it will be sorted and processed to be turned into other materials that can be reused. See the sorting guide above for examples of what goes in the blue bin.

This bin is for materials that cannot be recycled, and those which are made of a mix of several different types of materials. Some examples include small plastic utentsils, straws, chip, candy, and granola bar wrappers, polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam), bottle caps, and coffee pods. After being collected, this material will be sent to a landfill or be incineratred. Both of these processes release greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change, generate toxic bi-products, and eliminate the opportunity to reuse or repurpose the materials once they are buried or burned. 

You can find where to recycle electronics and other odd materials under the tabs located on the Office of Sustainability’s page for waste reduction.

The steps to leading a zero waste lifestyle are rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle. In following these steps, the most important one is to rethink the way you use resources. For example: Rethink whether you really need to buy that new bag or pair of shoes, whether you actually need a lid or straw for your beverage, and if you can do without a bag at the grocery store to carry out a few small items.

For the resources you do need to consume, reducing is the name of the game. For example: Plan your meals ahead and make a shopping list in order to reduce the amount of food that ends up going to waste. 

If you have any more questions, comments or concerns, you can contact the Office of Sustainability at:

Email: sustainability@csulb.edu

Office Phone: (562) 985-1939

FAQ's for Zero Waste Building Occupants

The follow questions are specifically for staff and faculty in buildings that have recently implemented the zero waste program. 

In an effort to help the University meet its waste reduction goals, your desk-side trash bin has been removed and replaced with a new mini-bin. Mini-bins will not be lined and are serviced once a week so it is best to take sticky/wet items to your nearest central zero waste station in a hallway or department office. For more information, please refer to the program brochure that was left for you on your desk.

When used properly, the mini-bin should not need a bag. Only, dry, non-sticky items should go inside your mini-bin. Sticky/wet items should go to any of the centralized zero waste bins located in the hallways. Those bins are serviced daily. Avoiding placing sticky items in your desk side bins will also help prevent pest issues inside your office. 

When used properly, your mini-bin should only contain dry, non-sticky items. However, if your mini-bin becomes dirty, you may (1) rinse it in a breakroom kitchen sink or nearest restroom, or (2) use a wipe to clean and disinfect. Remember to place all sticky/wet items in a centralized zero waste bins located in the hallways to avoid pests! 

Yes! You may now place other recyclable items in your desk-side blue bin, including paper, small pieces of flattened cardboard, beverage cans and bottles, etc. It is important to ensure that all food and beverage containers are empty of liquids and clean. Please DO NOT place non-recyclable trash items in your recycle bin.  Please refer to the program brochure and/or the label on the side of your blue recycle bin for more information.

The zero waste program is part of several mandated policies and commitments that the university is required to comply with. The mini trash bins are designed to support our efforts to reduce waste while also minimizing pest issues. Therefore, the old style desk-side trash bins are only provided to individuals with mobility limitations or those whose job duties result in the production of larger volumes of non-recyclable trash. If you require such an accommodation, please notify your facility coordinator, who can request a trash bin on your behalf. Otherwise, we encourage you to use the central hallway bins to take trash during your restroom and/or lunch breaks.  

Trash bins have been removed from most classrooms to help encourage folks to bring their items to a zero waste station where it can be properly sorted into a recycle bin or landfill/trash bin.

Please contact Customer Service at (562) 985-4357 or email PPFM-CustomerService@csulb.edu.

For the time being, all food waste should go in a centrally located LANDFILL/TRASH bin.  It is important that you avoid placing these items in your desk-side mini-bin or mixed recycling bin. In the future, we hope to be able to expand existing composting programs on campus in order to divert food waste from the landfill.

In most cases, the zero waste stations were added in or very near locations where a trash bin already existed so the new bin should not cause any new pest issues. We would prefer to leave the central zero waste stations in place to ensure that the area has enough capacity to handle the amount of waste generated. If you do experience pest issues due to the new bins, please contact Customer Service at (562) 985-4357 or email PPFM-CustomerService@csulb.edu. to report the problem.

The Waste Not program is being facilitated by the Office of Sustainability in BBS. If you have specific challenges or concerns you would like to convey to this team, you are welcome to email sustainability@csulb.edu and someone will follow up with you shortly.