Waste Not – California State University, Long Beach’s Zero Waste Program

Waste Not – California State University, Long Beach’s Zero Waste Program

October 14, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Did you know that the average Californian
creates about 6 pounds of trash each day? At this rate, it would take our campus community
only one week to fill the entire Walter Pyramid with 240,000 lbs of trash! We have this one, beautiful planet with a
finite amount of resources. Unfortunately, the majority of our economy
currently still relies on a linear model of extraction, consumption and disposal that
depletes these limited resources and creates a lot of unnecessary waste. The good news is that the university has a
plan, but we need your help! It’s called Waste Not and it’s a campus-wide
campaign designed to disrupt our “throw away” mentality and reduce waste on campus. Zero waste is about rethinking the way we
consume resources, reducing and reusing as much as possible, and seeing recycling and
disposal as our last resort. Each of us can take simple actions every day
to reduce our consumption of single-use items that were designed for the dump. When it comes handling the waste we do create,
it is critical that we sort it properly to make sure as little as possible ends up going
to the landfill! By following these simple guidelines, you’ll
soon be sorting like a pro! You can now place all recyclable items, not
just paper, into deskside blue bins and into centrally located, interior and exterior mixed
recycling bins. Acceptable items include clean paper, small
flattened cardboard, and dry, empty bottles, cans and plastic containers. It’s extremely important that items are
dry and empty to avoid contaminating the rest of the recyclables. Non-recyclable items, like polystyrene, chip
bags, candy wrappers and small, single-use plastic items like straws and utensils should
go into the new deskside mini landfill bins and centrally located landfill bins. To help keep bins clean and avoid attracting
pests, DO NOT place wet, sticky items or food into deskside mini-bins. Instead, take these items to a centrally located
bin, or better yet, take them outside the building if you can! In classrooms, all trash bins will be removed. Remember to take all trash and recyclables
to a hallway or outside bin on your way out. “Hey! What about food waste and other compostable
items?” Great question! For now, compost bins will remain in the USU
and will also be strategically placed in food prep areas on campus. We hope to expand the composting program campuswide
in the near future. In the meantime, please continue to place
your food scraps or food contaminated items into a centrally-located Landfill bin. The university is committed to creating a more sustainable environment and the campus community is already doing great things to make LBSU a healthier, more resilient campus. Learn how you can be part of the solution
at csulb.edu/wastenot