Reduce Waste

Do you live on campus? 

Find waste diversion guides tailored to your residence hall  HERE

How to Reduce and Reuse  

In the waste management hierarchy, reduction and reuse are higher than recycling. In line with our UC waste reduction goals, we encourage everyone to reduce and reuse their waste first, and then try to divert any generated waste through recycling and composting.  

  • Bring your reusable mug, food containers, and utensils to campus. (At some campus retail food locations, you can get a discount for using your reusable items—just ask at your location to see if it’s available).  
  • Avoid water bottles by bringing a reusable bottle to use at one of our water refill stations
  • Carry a reusable bandana with you. You can use it as a reusable napkin, towel, food wrap, and more!  
  • Shop at thrift and secondhand shops on the Davis campus, and donate your gently used unwanted items there. These stores save their customers money and help keep waste out of the landfill! Check open hours for Aggie Reuse & Aggie Surplus online.  
  • Pack your meals in reusable sandwich bags and containers instead of using single-use plastic. Bringing your meals onto campus also helps you control what you eat and how much you spend.  
  • Take a moment before you buy something new or throw something out. Before buying, ask yourself if you really need the item, and whether or not more sustainable packaging or durably made alternatives are available. Before landfilling something, see if it can be donated, reused, and/or repaired. Learn more about the Repair Cafe movement and local resources here.

How to Recycle  

  • Recycling helps reduce our environmental impact by keeping materials out of the landfill and using the material instead of virgin material to make new products.  
  • Recycling information can be found on our A-Z Recycling Guides for the Sacramento and Davis campuses. . If you live on campus, please use the Student Housing Waste Diversion Guides. If you have specific recycling questions not addressed on any of these resources, please email us at recycling@ucdavis.edu (Davis campus) or hs-sustainability@ucdavis.edu (Health/Sacramento campus).

How to Compost  

Composting keeps food and other compostable material out of the landfills, avoiding the generation of a potent greenhouse gas called methane. The composting process results in a rich soil amendment. When you compost, you’re not only helping fight climate change, you’re also making something new that has multiple benefits when applied back to the earth.  

You can find a compost bin in several of our Davis campus buildings, with more additions expected as part of a pilot expansion. Compost bins are also located outdoors near foodservice areas on the Davis campus such as the Silo, Memorial Union, and Scrubs Café. Look for the standard green color and compost signs.  

Common campus items that go into the compost bin include but are not limited to:  

  • Food waste (e.g. leftover food, bones, banana peels, coffee grounds)  
  • Pizza boxes (no plastic pizza tables)  
  • Paper foodservice products (e.g. paper plates, cups, napkins, trays)  
  • Wood utensils and items (e.g. chopsticks)  
  • Compostable plastic containers and utensils (must be labeled as #7 PLA or certified compostable)  

Please be sure to remove any plastic (e.g. film/wrap, condiment packages, small plastic sauce containers), metal (e.g. staples in paper bags) or compostable materials that have been contaminated by hazardous materials (e.g. paint).  


Waste and Recycling Bins and Signs  


Report Overflowing Waste Bins  

If you have overflowing bins on the Davis campus, report them to Facilities Management on Tririga, via email at facilities@ucdavis.edu, or creating a work order at (530) 752-1655. They will be serviced by the appropriate campus department.  

Did you know that different departments handle the waste depending on where it is generated on the Davis campus?  

  • Indoor bins – direct the work order request to Custodial Services.  
  • Outdoor bins – if located around campus buildings and outdoor spaces, direct the work order request to Grounds Management.    
  • Outdoor dumpsters – For large dumpsters, as well as wheeled 64 gallon toters in loading dock areas, direct the work order request to Solid Waste.