• Associated Students recycling

Sustainable Office Program

In an effort to make CSUN a more "environmentally-friendly" campus, the Sustainable Office Program provides information and resources for improving sustainability in the office setting. By participating, your department is actively assisting CSUN to achieve our sustainability goals. Help CSUN achieve our sustainability goals and compete with your fellow Matadors to see who can be the most Sustainable Office on campus!

For more information on the program or to sign up, please contact AS Recycling at or call us at ext. 4262.

How it works

Our well trained and professional interns make evaluations based on identified survey criteria. There are two parts, the Prerequisite Survey and the Survey Checklist.

Prerequisite Checklist

  • To attain the lowest level bronze your department must answer "Yes" to the following questions in the Prerequisite Section. These practices are simple and comply with the mandatory sustainable policies on campus, and should be practiced by all departments and staff.

  • If your department has not answered "Yes" to all questions in this section, you will remain a "participant" until the section is completed.



Do you use bins for paper recycling? If yes, do you have the proper signage?

Does your department recycle used beverage containers through AS Recycling?

Do you have a battery recycle bin provided and collected by Environmental Health & Safety?

Do you recycle ink jets and cartridges through AS Recycling?

Do you recycle cardboard through AS Recycling?

Does your department encourage double-sided and black and white printing for all draft materials?

Does your department encourage the reuse of single sided print paper?

Do all staff use a central printer unless their position requires use of a personal printer?

Do you use post-consumer recycled content paper? If so is it at least 30 percent?

Does your dept. go through purchasing & IT to ensure that you’re purchasing EPEAT or Energy Star efficient electronics?

Does your department order from your office suppliers' preferred green products list?

Does your department utilize power saving modes on computers and copiers in the central office to power down to sleep setting (not “deepest” sleep) after 1 hour of inactivity?

Does your department encourage employees to turn lights off when they are not in use?

Survey Checklist

The survey checklist contains questions that go beyond the mandatory, prerequisite sustainable policies on campus. Depending on the quantity and which questions your department answers “Yes” to, your ranking of bronze, silver, gold, or platinum will be determined.



What is the percent of post-consumer recycled content paper used if above 50%?

Do you choose not to use a bottled water service and instead provide filtered water?

Are you part of the Small Order Program and do not place orders to until they reach $75 in value (Ask for a copy of previous purchase reports- check $75)?

Are you aware of the SABRC (State Agency Buy- Recycled Campaign) policy and adhere to it?

Do you purchase refillable or bulk containers for condiments (sugar, creamer, salt, pepper, etc.) to reduce packets?

Do you use rechargeable batteries to avoid throwing them away?

Does your office have lighting controls (motion, daylight, etc)?

Do you turn off all lights at the end of the business day?

Do you effectively uses blinds, shades, or curtains to mitigate the use of overhead lighting and/ or need for heating and cooling?

Do you use CFL/LED task lighting (i.e. desk lamps) to help reduce overhead lighting?

Do you turn off unattended computer monitors throughout the day and utilizes office reminders to encourage this behavior?

Has all of the office staff ensured that screen savers are disabled?

Have replaced all refrigerators more than 7 years old

Has provided an Energy- Star rated refrigerator in our central office to eliminate the need for individual ones

Staff do not employ plug-in heaters

What percentage of your staff do not employ plug-in fans?

Staff do not use personal refrigerators

What percent of your office staff do not use personal printers

Do you use power strips? If so do you turn them off at the end of the day?

Water flow rate of sinks is at or under 2 gallons per minute.

Uses less toxic chemical alternatives where possible such as Green Seal products

Does your office encourage teleconferences, virtual meetings and remote access when possible?

Do you encourage ride share in the department by sending out a sign-up?

Once surveys are completed:

  1. Your department will receive a report with recommendations on how to improve your score.
  2. Your assessor will schedule a date to present findings and recommendations at an upcoming department meeting.

At this time, you will also receive your recognition materials including a window cling and a certificate of completion to proudly display your accomplishments.

Compete with your fellow Matadors to see who can be the most Sustainable Office on campus!

For more information on the program, please contact AS Recycling at or call us at ext. 4262.

The Mini Bin Program

CSUN is proud to announce the new Mini Bin project within the Sustainable Office Program. The Mini Bin project allows for departments and individuals to actively participate in minimizing their waste by replacing a normal trash bin with a Mini Bin alongside a blue paper bin.

By taking part in the Mini Bin project, CSUN can significantly reduce the amount of items sent to rapidly growing landfills. Much of what is thought of as trash can be reduced by reusing or recycling, which can be achieved through the Mini Bins. If we implement a "think before you toss" initiative throughout campus, more than half of our waste can potentially be diverted from landfills.

How it works:

When the mini bin is full, the owner is responsible for emptying the bin in a central trash bin. Mini bins do not need any liners, but can be easily cleaned by wiping out the bins with a damp cloth.

Goals of the mini bin program:

  • Practice sustainable actions
  • Reduce waste
  • Recycle more

The benefits of the mini bin program:

  • Creates an environmentally friendly office
  • Reduces trash being sent to landfills
  • Save funding through waste contract
  • Custodial costs are reduced by custodians not having to empty desk-side trash bins
  • Eliminates the cost of replacing trash liners
  • Creates a sense of ownership

Mini bin