CSULB's new program to eliminate campus waste by 2030!
What is Waste Not?
Waste Not is CSULB’s new waste 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,” this philosophy aims to promote policies and programs that reduce wasteful practices on campus while simultaneously diverting more material from landfill by introducing a new mixed recycling stream into our current waste management system.
The program will be implemented in four phases over a three-year period, beginning with the University Library as the first official zero waste building on campus in late January 2018. As part of Waste Not's roll-out schedule, new Zero Waste Stations will replace and/or enhance the current waste bins found inside and outside classroom buildings, office/department spaces and study areas. Each station consists of a two-bin sorting system for:
What about COMPOST? Unfortunately, there are currently no local facilities available that can properly process our compostable materials (food waste combined with soiled paper). The University remains committed to finding a solution for diverting compostable materials from landfill. For now, composting will only be available for back-of-house food preparation areas on campus, such as the food prep kitchens in the residential dining halls and at the Child Development Center. Green color-coded bins at these areas will be specifically for:
This combined systems approach will allow us to move closer to our ulimate goal of diverting more than 90% of material currently wasted on campus. By going zero waste, CSULB will be well on its way to reducing its carbon footprint and moving us one step closer to achieving climate neutrality!
What is "Zero Waste"?
According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, zero waste is a goal 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.
Using these sustainable natural cycles as a framework, zero waste systematically eliminates the volume and toxicity of discarded materials and helps recover and conserve natural resources by diverting their routes from the landfill or incinerator.
Although recycling and composting do indeed divert a significan amount of the waste we generate each day, they are not the most imporant pieces in the zero waste puzzle. Zero waste aims to place a higher priority on rethinking processes and products, reducing the amount of products we consume in the first place, and finding creative ways to re-use what we already have (as show below in the Zero Waste Hierarchy):
Zero Waste Hierarchy
Why Go Zero Waste?
We live on a finite planet with finite resources, yet we continue to operate in a linear system of extraction, use and disposal that produces a great amount of unnecessary waste. Did you know that the average Californian generated 35.2 million tons of material in 2016? That's about 6 pounds/person/day! Although it may seem difficult at first to throw out our "throw away" mentality, it's a crucial step for moving towards a more sustainable, healthier future.
This is why zero waste is so important. As we continue to use up our limited natural resources and generate waste that could have otherwise been diverted, less will be available for future generations (and us!). Going zero waste will not only help conserve and recover these resources as they become scarce, but it will also help CSULB lower its carbon footprint and meet its goal of achieving climate neutrality as outlined in the CSU Sustainability Policy and Climate Commitment.
Waste Not — Two ways to sort...one way to make a big difference!
Meet the New Zero Waste Stations!
To help implement the Waste Not program, Zero Waste Stations will be installed inside and outside of all campus buildings. These stations will help divert waste from going into the landfill by adding a new stream to all trash receptacles: mixed recycling.
Interior bins include:
*Composting bins will only be available for back-of-house food preparation areas on campus, such as the food prep kitchens in the residential dining halls and at the Child Development Center. Image is for representational purposes only. Final bin design and sigange are pending approval.
Exterior Bins** include:
**Exterior bin image is for representational purposes only. Depending on fund availability, exterior bins will be launched in Summer 2019.
Another big change you’ll notice is the removal of all deskside trash bins from classroom and office spaces. Centrally located Zero Waste Stations will serve as the main hubs for waste disposal, while all deskside recycling bins will be upgraded with a mini-bin for trash items. Note: Avoid placing wet, sticky items in your new mini-bin as these will not be lined and are emptied once a week by Custodial Services. See the FAQ's section below to learn how to take care of your new mini-bin.
How to Properly Sort Your Waste
With the new Zero Waste Stations, you will be able to separate your waste in any of the two bins: Mixed Recycling for recyclables, or Landfill│Trash for all items that cannot be recycled. Each bin is labeled and includes helpful signage with photos and a list of acceptable items to make sorting as easy as 1-2-3.
Still not sure where your waste goes? Check out this quick sorting guide to get started:
What is Waste Not?
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.
What is zero waste?
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.
Why is zero waste important?
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.
Where can I find the new 2-stream Zero Waste Stations?
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.
What about the COMPOST bin?
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.
What goes in the MIXED RECYCLING 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.
What goes in the LANDFILL/TRASH 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.
Where do I dispose of items that do not belong in the 2-stream bins (i.e. electronics, batteries, etc.)?
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.
How can I lead a zero waste lifestyle?
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.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any more questions, comments or concerns, you can contact the Office of Sustainability at:
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.
What happened to my desk-side trash bin?
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.
Why doesn't the mini-bin have a bag/liner?
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.
How do I properly take care of my new mini-bin ?
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!
I thought my desk-side blue bin was only for paper. Has that changed?
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.
Can I get my trash bin back?
Short answer: no. The zero waste program is part of several mandated policies and commitments that the university is required to comply with. We highly encourage you to use the central hallway bins to take trash during your restroom and/or lunch breaks. Special accommodations can be made for those with mobility limitations. If you require such an accommodation, please notify your facility coordinator, who can request a trash bin on your behalf.
What happened to the trash bin in my classroom?
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.
My desk side bins are not being serviced. Who do I contact so they will be serviced on time?
Please contact Customer Service at (562) 985-4357 or email PPFM-CustomerService@csulb.edu.
I’m confused. Where do I throw away my food waste?
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.
I'm concerned that the central bin will attract pests. Can they be removed?
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.
I’m still confused. Who can I talk to more about this?
The Waste Not program is being facilitated by the Office of Sustainability in PPFM. If you have specific challenges or concerns you would like to convey to this team, you are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will follow up with you shortly.