Waste Management

CSUDH is Going Zero Waste  

“Pitch In…to a greener and cleaner campus for all!  

In Spring 2021, CSUDH officially launched its campus-wide zero waste program to help the university meet its 90% waste reduction goal by 2025 and to comply with current state regulations as outlined in the CSUDH Zero Waste Plan. This program is crucial for diverting our waste from the landfill, conserving resources, and lowering the carbon footprint of campus population of approximately 18,000 students, staff, and faculty members.

Check out the sections below to learn more about the program, answers to frequently asked questions, and tips for adapting to a zero waste campus (and lifestyle)!

Quick Links  

  • Locate a Zero Waste StationCheck out the floor plan maps for your building or Google Map to locate the zero waste stations nearest you.
  • Request a Zero Waste Station or Deskside Bin Insert – Contact Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or place an online work order to request a zero waste station in your hallway/office suite or a deskside bin for your office. To request a deskside bin recycling or landfill insert, please fill out the online form
  • Request Custodial/Movers ServicesContact Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or place an online work order to request custodial service, pick-up of bulky items that can overflow a zero waste station, or any waste items that cannot be discarded in any of the three streams (e.g. e-waste, ink toners, etc.). Due to limited quantities, toters/carts  requested for office clean-ups have a 7 day limit from drop-off to pick-up.
  • Request a ZW PresentationFill out this form to request a presentation for your department/office.
  • Provide Feedback on ZW Program – Complete this short feedback survey to let us know how we can improve our campus zero waste program. All responses are anonymous.
Zero Waste Program Overview

CSUDH is committed to going zero waste and meeting its 90% waste reduction goal by 2025. As a key part of achieving this goal, new recycling and composting streams have been introduced into the current waste collection system. This updated system will now feature three-stream, color-coded zero waste stations located inside and outside of all campus buildings. 

As part of the zero waste program implementation:

  • Individual, large trash bins, including in classrooms, offices, and shared study areas, have been removed and replaced with over 200 centrally located, interior zero waste stations, which are serviced daily by Custodial staff. Check out the floor plan maps for your building to locate the interior stations nearest you.
  • Larger zero waste stations can be found outside buildings through campus, which are serviced daily by Grounds staff. Check out Google Map the to locate the exterior stations nearest you.
  • All trash, recyclables, and food waste should be taken to nearby zero waste stations strategically located throughout the campus both inside and out of intersections, entranceways/exits, and stairwells.
  • All zero waste bins are appropriately labeled with universal signage and colors.
  • Deskside bins in private/individual offices are the personal responsibility of the user and are no longer being serviced by Custodial. Staff and faculty are encouraged to discard waste directly into these stations, which are serviced daily, instead of their deskside bins.
  • Specialized zero waste carts for office clean-ups/move-out, bulk recycling, and events are available upon request.
  • With the exception of a number of approved locations, dedicated recycling pick-ups provided by the previous Recycling Coordinator are no longer available.
  • Dumpster enclosures now include color-coded 3yd bins for mixed recycling, landfill/trash, and compost (64gal).

State Compliance Requirements

Effective July 1, 2020, the university must also comply with state recycling and organics collections laws, including AB 2812 and SB 1833/AB 827. Under these two mandates, CSUDH is required to provide dedicated receptacles, signage, education, and services for trash, recycling, and organics (compost) streams. Visit the CalRecycle homepage for more information.

Per AB 2048, the current franchise agreement for waste hauling for CSUDH is with Republic Services, and is posted here:  Agreement No. 36642 Republic Services_Fully Executed [PDF]  

Meet the New Zero Waste Stations

To comply with state regulations and help reduce CSUDH’s impact on the environment, you will now find zero waste stations located throughout campus. These three-stream bins will allow you to “pitch in” and properly dispose of recyclables, trash, and compostable items in the appropriate, universally color-coded bins:

  • GREY/BLACK = Landfill / Trash
  • BLUE = Mixed Recycling
  • GREEN = Compost (food scraps only)

Please make sure to carefully review the image-based, color-coded signage on these bins to ensure that you are properly sorting your waste and breaking down all cardboard boxes. Check out the floor plan maps and Google Map to find the interior and exterior bins nearest to you.

To request a zero waste station in your hallway/office suite or to report an overflowing zero waste station, contact Campus Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or via the online work order form.

The color-coded, three-stream system can be found in the 3yd and 64-gallon bins located inside the (12) waste enclosures located throughout campus. You may properly dispose any larger items and broken-down cardboard boxes in these enclosures.ZW Dumpster Bins

Additional specialized zero waste bins are also available for bulk recycling and disposal, office cleanups/move-outs, and indoor and outdoor events. These bins and servicing of bins are available upon request via Campus Work Control:

  • 64gal Mixed Recycling and/or Landfill Toter Duo – Available to departments or offices that receive daily to weekly packages or require frequent service of bulky mixed recycling and landfill waste. Due to limited quantities, toters requested for office clean-ups have a 7 day limit from drop-off to pick-up.
  • Zero Waste Cart – Available to all campus users that are discarding office waste that would normally overflow the centralized zero waste stations. Due to limited quantities, carts requested for office clean-ups have a 7 day limit from drop-off to pick-up.
  • Zero Waste Event Bins – Available to all campus users that are hosting indoor or outdoor events

Specialist ZW Bins

By using the new zero waste stations and adopting a more zero waste lifestyle, you will help CSUDH become one step closer to it’s a goal of becoming a zero waste campus

* Internal, 23-gal Slim Jims are temporarily provided in hallways/corridors until additional funding becomes available to replace with fire-rated zero waste stations.

** Exterior concrete bins are still located in certain areas on campus until additional funding becomes available to replace with the new zero waste stations.

How to Sort Your Waste

Pitch in by properly sorting your waste into the new centralized zero waste stations conveniently located inside and outside of campus buildings! As a reminder, all bins are emptied daily by Custodial and Grounds staff.

We advise using the exterior bins for larger waste items such as bulky food packaging (i.e. food containers, soda cups, etc.) and leftover food scraps since the bin openings are much larger. Interior bins are perfect for smaller waste and recyclables. Any waste that does not fit, will likely overflow the bins, or is not an acceptable item can be requested for pick-up by contacting Campus Work Control (see Other Waste Services below).

Acceptable items that can go in the RECYCLING zero waste bin:

  • Paper, including newspaper, envelopes, magazines, etc.
  • Flattened cardboard
  • Plastics #1-#7, including milk jugs, water/soda bottles, etc. – No plastic bags or film please!
  • Cartons including milk cartons and waxy paper soda cups
  • Aluminum/metal cans
  • Glass bottles/food jars

NOTE: Make sure all recyclables are free of food and liquid!

Acceptable items that can go in the LANDFILL zero waste bin:

  • Plastic bags, wrappers, flexible packaging, etc.
  • Plastic utensils and straws
  • Napkins/tissues
  • Shredded paper
  • Styrofoam containers and packaging
  • Stickers/address labels

NOTE: Try switching from single-use to reusable options when possible!

Acceptable items that can go in the COMPOST zero waste bin:

  • Food scraps including fruits, veggies, breads, meats, bones, eggs, etc.
  • Please NO packaging, napkins, or compostable eatware
  • You may use a CLEAR bag to dispose your food scraps

Not sure where something goes? If you have questions on what qualifies as an acceptable material for recycling, please email sustainability@csudh.edu. You can also download and save the Zero Waste Sorting Guide on your mobile device or desktop for an easy reference! 

Still planning to use your deskside bin? Fill out the form below to request a FREE zero waste desk insert for your own deskside mini zero waste station. The deskside insert will help you sort out your own waste to then discard at the centralized zero waste stations. Sign-up is a first come, first serve basis.

Zero Waste Desk Insert Sign-up Form

Other Waste Services

For disposal of all other waste items that cannot go into any of the three-stream zero waste bins, special handling is required. Do NOT throw any hazardous materials, e-waste, batteries, ink toners, etc. in any of the campus dumpster enclosures.

Instead, utilize any of the available waste services are provided by Facilities Management:

  • Used batteries – Battery recycling containers are available to campus offices upon request to campus work control. Campus users may also drop off batteries at any of the (5) public battery collection bins located in Visitor Information Center (WH 245), COE Lobby, Library Front Desk (2nd floor entrance), Facilities Services Front Desk (Physical Plant), and the IT Help Desk (NSM 151). 
  • Printer Cartridges/Toner – Toner and ink jet cartridges may be recycled by placing used cartridges back in the original packaging (or in the package your new cartridge came in), or any plastic bag, and contacting Campus Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or via the online work order to arrange pick up.
  • Electronic Waste (E-Waste) – All IT-branded assets must be received through Asset Management for recycling/disposal. When requesting your pick-up, you can also include for recycling non-IT small electronic assets such as office toasters, coffee makers, microwaves, etc. Download the Property Survey Form and contact Property Clerk Angel Garcia at x2376 for pick-up of these items.
  • Hazardous/Universal Waste – Items such as lab waste, PCB/non-PCB ballasts, broken bulbs, and fluorescent lamps are considered hazardous waste and require special handling. Contact Campus Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or via the online work order form to request pick up. 
  • Have an item not listed above? Contact Campus Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or via the online work order to coordinate pick-up/ removal. Make sure to include the description of item(s), location, and date that item(s) need to be removed by to ensure timely pick-up.

Test your knowledge by taking our 10-question educational quiz on how to properly sort the trash you encounter while on campus.

#TrashFreeToro Recycling Quiz


We understand that the changes the zero waste program brings will require time, patience, and cooperation from all on campus in order to be successful. With your help and support, CSUDH will be on its way to become a zero waste campus and a leader in higher-education sustainability!

Please see below for our list of frequently asked questions to learn more about the new zero waste program.

Have a question not listed below? Please contact sustainability@csudh.edu for any additional questions or concerns. Who knows, maybe someone else may have the same question!

General FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between zero waste and recycling, aren’t they the same thing?

A: Zero waste should not be confused with the act of simply recycling, as its goal is to provide a more in-depth perspective on the ways we can rethink, reduce, and reuse before we recycle or responsibly dispose of waste. Check out the Zero Waste Hierarchy to learn more. As defined by the Zero Waste International Alliance, zero waste is “the conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”

Q: Why is CSUDH going zero waste?

A: With a campus population of approximately 18,000 students, staff, and faculty members, CSUDH generates a large carbon footprint on a planet where resources are finite.  Landfills and other hazardous waste sites also disproportionately affect communities of color and/or the poor which makes the generation of trash an environmental justice issue.  Going zero waste will allow the campus to help divert waste and conserve these resources, while lowering its carbon footprint and meeting its 90% diversion rate by 2025 as outlined in the CSUDH Zero Waste Plan. Effective July 1, 2020, the university must also comply with state recycling and organics collections laws, including AB 2812 and SB 1833/AB 827. Under these two mandates, CSUDH is required to provide dedicated receptacles, signage, education, and services for trash, recycling, and organics (compost) streams.

Q: How was the zero waste program implemented on campus? 

A: Over the course of the Fall 2021 semester, the CSUDH Office of Sustainability hosted official zero waste virtual “launches” for campus buildings that had officially rolled out the zero waste program.  Program implementation consisted of:

  • Full installation of additional zero waste stations and signage in hallways, exists/entryways, breakrooms, office suites, etc.
  • Training for Custodial and Grounds staff to ensure daily waste service is consistent and up to date with the zero waste program.
  • Official Zoom  “launch party” training/Q&A session hosted by the Zero Waste Coordinator (with prizes!). Recording and additional resources were emailed to all building occupants. 
  • Distribution of educational materials for all building occupants, including zero waste brochures, FAQ sheets, and faculty handbills.
  • Informational booths to address concerns and feedback post-implementation of the initial bin infrastructure roll-out.

Monitoring and adapting the zero waste program in an ever evolving campus will be crucial to ensure that we stay on track to meeting our zero waste goal. If you have any feedback or suggestions for improving the program and helping CSUDH move closer to achieving its zero waste goal, please take this short, anonymous feedback survey.

Q: Where can I find the new three-stream Zero Waste Stations?

A: Zero waste stations are strategically located throughout the campus both inside and out at strategic intersections, entranceways/exits, and stairwells to ensure compliance with state AB/SB CalRecycle requirements. Check out the floor plan maps for your building of interest here or the campus grounds and parking lots here

Q: What items can be disposed of under the new zero waste system and where can I learn more about other campus zero waste programs?

A: Refer to the "How to Sort Your Waste" section on this page for guidance on what materials go where as well as for information on our other recycling programs on campus including battery and printer cartridge recycling, e-waste, hazardous waste, and clothing donations. 

Staff & Faculty FAQs

Q: Why isn't my office deskside bin being serviced? 

A: As part of the zero waste program, deskside bins are no longer being serviced. For all employees who choose to utilize them, it will be their personal responsibility to keep them clean and empty at their nearest zero waste station. Per the conditions of an MOU agreement with CSUEU, all tasks related to the personal bins, including emptying, supplying any liners, cleaning, and otherwise maintaining them, are the user’s sole responsibility. Employees should not be directed to service anyone else’s personal bin.

Q: How can I request an office deskside bin? How can I request bin liners? 

A: Facilities Services can provide personal waste bins upon request via the Campus Work Control online form to CSUEU represented employees. Because deskside bins are now the user's responsibility, liners will no longer be provided and must be purchased separately. Liners may not be purchased through the campus warehouse using department funds or chartfields.

Q: What happened to the trash bin in my classroom?

A: Trash bins have been removed from most classrooms and shared study spaces. Staff, faculty, and students are encouraged to take their items to a zero waste station where they can be properly sorted.

Q: How can I request a zero waste station for my building or office breakroom/suite?  

A: If you/your colleagues generate high volumes of waste materials that accumulate in a shared space, or feel that your space has been missed by the official placement set-up, you may make a request for a zero waste station in your location by contacting Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or placing an online work order to make sure these stations are delivered to you and registered for daily service. NOTE: To ensure efficient and timely processing of your WO, please include as many details as possible when submitting your requesting.

Q: There is no way my waste will fit into the central zero waste stations. What do I do? 

A: When bringing in bulky food packaging items or other items likely to overflow your nearest zero waste station inside the building, we encourage you to empty outside the building into one of these bins wherever possible. For special events or office move-outs/clean-ups, you may request delivery of a larger set of bins to your office through Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or by placing an online work order. Due to limited quantities, toters/carts requested for office clean-ups have a 7 day limit from drop-off to pick-up.

Q: Who do I call if there is a zero waste station overflowing? 

A: Contact Work Control at (310) 243-3587 or place an online work order to have a member of our Custodial or Grounds team service the bin.

Q: I'm still confused. Who can I talk to more about this? 

A: For any zero waste-related questions, concerns or training requests, please contact the Zero Waste Coordinator, Scarlett Zamora, at szamora24@csudh.edu or (310) 243-2161. Zero Waste trainings for department and office spaces are also available upon request.


To ensure that the campus meets its zero waste goal, CSUDH Office of Sustainability has made available a number of educational resources for students, staff, and faculty including:

  • Zero Waste Guide/FAQ Sheet  – A one-page overview of the zero waste program and a list of frequently asked questions.
  • Zero Waste Station Locations by Building – Check out the floor plan maps for your building or Google Map to locate the zero waste stations nearest you. 
  • ZW Wednesday Campus-Wide Emails  – Save time searching your inbox! Check out our ZW Wednesday Campus-Wide Announcements archive to review all communications related to zero waste implementation, resources and more in one convenient place.
  • Building Virtual Zoom Launch Orientations  – Didn’t get a chance to attend your building’s virtual zero waste launch? Select from the building-specific orientation recordings to learn about the zero waste program and bin locations for your campus building.
  • ZW Presentation Requests – Request a zero waste presentation by our new Zero Waste Coordinator to help orient your department/office.
  • Zero Waste Sorting Guide – A handy waste sorting guide to help you properly sort your waste into the new zero waste bins on campus.
  • ZW Office Brochure – A trifold brochure which outlines the zero waste program including changes to expect in the workplace, a waste sorting guide and a list of other zero waste initiatives at CSUDH.
  • Teddy the Toro ZW Training Video – To help you jump start your zero waste journey as a Toro, check out this short 3-minute training student video and staff/faculty video, featuring Teddy the Toro, to learn about the many ways you can "pitch in" and help the campus meet its 90% waste diversion rate goal by 2025!
  • #TrashFreeToros Tuesdays – Follow CSUDH Sustainability on Instagram for zero waste giveaways, events, and tips every Tuesday!
  • Green Graduation Checklist – Check out this flyer to follow some tips on how to celebrate a green graduation! 
  • Green Events Checklist – Planning an event on campus? Consult our Green Events Checklist to see your eco-friendly options for supplies, food, waste receptacles, and more.

Don't see a resource on the list that you would find helpful? Email szamora24@csudh.edu to request an educational flyer, video, or announcement. 

Other Campus Zero Waste Initiatives
  • Hydration Stations – Instead of buying a single-use plastic bottle, fill up your reusable bottle at one of our hydration stations available campus-wide on every water fountain, including the baseball and softball dugouts! 
  • Toro Token Program – Purchase a Toro Token for a reusable container to use at Campus Dining locations. Then, exchange for another Toro Token to use for your next visit. Check the Toro Token Info Flyer for more information.
  • Reusable Coffee Cup Discount  – Bring your reusable cup or bottle to fill up at one our on-campus eateries and coffee shops to get a 10% discount on your purchase (select locations only).
  • Pathwater Reusable Bottles – Departments can order co-branded aluminum Pathwater bottles (by case of 12 bottles) directly with the campus warehouse by e-mailing Dino Hernandez at dhernandez@csudh.edu. Bottles are $19.80 per case ($1.65 each). Please include:
    • Quantity of cases you would like
    • Campus location where you would like them delivered
    • Your department chargeback chartfield information
  • Pop-Up Thrift Initiative – In collaboration with the Basic Needs Initiative, the Office of Sustainability will periodically provide collection receptacles and host thrift drives for specific secondhand items in good condition (such as coats, professional attire, etc.) that go to helping our CSUDH students meet their basic needs. Currently, the Office of Sustainability hosts a pop up thrift distribution at the first Farmers Market of the semester, and collects items for donation at the last Farmers Market of the semester. View our Pop Up Thrift Initiative Report for more information on this Presidential Challenge project and its outcomes.  
  • Green Labs Program – The CSUDH Green Labs Program offers unique services to over 50 laboratory spaces on campus to help reduce their environmental impacts in multiple areas.
    • Contact Facilities Work Control at x3587 or by submitting online work order form for free delivery and pick-up of nitrile gloves for recycling.
    • Contact the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@csudh.edu to request green laboratory training for your staff and students and/or view our informational video on Youtube here.
  • Ergonomic Office Chair Loan Program – Do you want a new office chair but aren’t sure if it will be comfortable? Contact EHOS at x3012 to take advantage of their ergonomic office chair loaner program. You’ll be able to try out a chair for a couple weeks to make sure you like it instead of having to immediately commit to buying one you may not like.  
  • Textbook Rentals & Buyback Program  – Did you know the Bookstore offers a discounted rental and buyback program for textbooks? Save some green by going green (and try going digital when you can)!
  • Sustainable Products at Campus Bookstore – Going zero waste on campus has never been easier! Check out the Campus Bookstore to affordable sustainable products including reusable utensils, metal straws, and more! 
  • Green Events Checklist – Planning an event on campus? Consult our Green Events Checklist [PDF] to see your eco-friendly options for supplies, food, waste receptacles, and more. 
Zero Waste Tips

Coming soon.