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Waste reduction joins campuswide sustainability team

January 7, 2011

Photo: People recycling and composting at a large event on campus

The campus Waste Reduction and Recycling program, formerly known as R4, has recently moved into the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability unit.

The program’s website has also been integrated with the Sustainable 2nd Century website. Campus information about waste reduction, including recycling, reusing and rebuying, can now be found at sustainability.ucdavis.edu.

“Sustainability goals, including zero waste by 2020, cut across traditional unit boundaries,” said Sid England, assistant vice chancellor for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. “Our unit was created to coordinate and lead sustainability efforts across campus, and Waste Reduction and Recycling is now integrated with that campuswide effort.”

Lin King, manager of Waste Reduction and Recycling, noted that the name change does not mean that campus is abandoning the other two Rs, reuse and rebuy.

"Waste reduction will continue to encompass both reusing and rebuying recycled materials," he said, noting significant partnerships with Bargain Barn and Purchasing.

“Our name change reflects the organizational change, in our move to Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability,” King said. It also might be less confusing to people who are unfamiliar with the history behind the old acronym.

Recycling growth on campus

UC Davis’ history of recycling on campus started with students: In 1980, ASUCD formed the Energy Programs Task Force to increase awareness of recycling and energy issues. In 1985 the task force became Project Recycle, with students collecting materials to recycle from campus bins.

“We had one truck that didn’t work very well, and we had students doing all of the collecting,” said Mark Champagne, ASUCD business manager. “The interest in recycling on campus outgrew our ability to collect it all, which was a positive problem ultimately.”

The R4 program became responsible for coordinating all recycling on campus, as part of Facilities Management.

King started as an undergraduate volunteer with Project Recycle, and returned in 1995 as the full-time recycling coordinator for R4.

“Now — in joining Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability — we’re going from a daily operations focus to a campuswide planning focus,” King said.

For example, King said he is now involved in planning for a demolition project on campus and ways to reduce the project’s waste from the beginning, instead of being called in immediately before the demolition to find a way to recycle the concrete.

The current waste reduction goal set by the University of California is diverting 75 percent of waste away from the landfill by 2012, followed by achieving zero waste by 2020. In 2008-2009, UC Davis recycled or composted 76 percent of campus waste, and new data for 2009-2010 shows the campus diversion rate at 67 percent.

Looking for recycling information?

Please find the correct link below, and update your bookmarks accordingly:

Take Action: Recycle
Find out what, where and how to recycle on campus.
Progress: Waste Reduction
Find out what UC Davis is doing to meet its goal of becoming a zero-waste campus.
Take Action: Host a Zero-Waste Event
Get tips and information to help you make your next campus event zero waste.
Take Action: Move in, Move out
If you are cleaning out an office or moving to campus, find out how recycling and other waste-reduction efforts can help lighten your load.
Take Action: Request Recycling Bins
Find out how to request more recycling bins for your campus office.
Take Action: Pick-up Schedules
If one of your recycling bins is overflowing, find out when it will be emptied and who to contact with questions.
Take Action: Avoid Illegal Posting
Find out how to correctly post fliers on campus and report violators.
Take Action: University Recycling Manual
This guide helps other campuses start their own recycling programs.
Take Action: Compost
Get tips for composting on campus, including templates for how to start composting in new buildings from the Davis Honors Challenge.
About Us: Student Staff
Meet the students who work for Waste Reduction and Recycling.

If you have questions about recycling and other waste reduction efforts on campus, please contact us.

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