Sustainability

Waste and Materials Management

Campus waste generation amounts to approximately 70 pounds per person annually. Reduction of CSUN’s waste is necessary to conserve valuable natural resources, reduce environmental pollution and reduce negative social impacts. 

Main Strategies

  1. Reduction of total waste generated by the campus (including landfill, recycling, and other disposal methods)
  2. Increase diversion of waste from landfills
  3. Increase awareness of waste, recycling and related issues
  4. Improve collection and access of waste related data and information

Objectives for 2023

  1. Reduction of total waste per capita by 20% over current values
  2. Diversion of 75% of waste from landfills by 2023
  3. Expand recycling capability to a wider range of plastics and other materials

2017-18 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Begin implementation of Zero Waste Plan.
    • The Zero Waste Plan has been completed, and will be presented to the President’s Cabinet and Academic Affairs for approval.
  • Continue waste stream signage throughout campus and housing.
    • New signage has been deployed in conjunction with new bin infrastructure in the Oviatt Library, Manzanita and Sequoia Halls, and Sierra Tower.
  • Launch a Go topless (coffee cup lids) initiative.
    • This initiative was shifted into a Bring Your Own Mug program, with TUC offering a reusable coffee cup and substantial discounts for utilizing it.
  • Investigate opportunities for eliminating receipts at TUC locations.
    • TUC was able to digitize one of the two receipts printed for each transaction. This eliminated 168,860 receipts in April 2018, and will eliminate 1.45 million receipts in the coming year.
  • Construct a Sustainability Center.
    • The construction of the new recycling facility at the Sustainability Center has greatly increased the amount of material that is able to be processed, and made recycling operations more efficient.
  • Pilot reusable pallet wraps.
    • Reusable pallet wraps are being utilized at the Shipping and Receiving center to re-wrap pallets of cleaning supplies and other stock before distributing them across campus. 

Other Highlights

  • During move-out, student housing was provided with approximately 75 cardboard boxes from the Recycling Operations Center, to reduce the need for new cardboard boxes. Students were encouraged to recycle the boxes once they were done with them.
  • As a means to reduce landfilled materials, cleaning supplies, plates, utensils, and other useful items were collected during move-out and will be stored at Student Housing to be given to students next semester.
  • The AS Sustainability Committee received a grant to retrofit six drinking fountains with water bottle refill stations. They are working with Physical Plant Management to determine which fountains will be retrofitted.
  • Freudian Sip launched a new reusable cup campaign, which includes discounts and free drip coffee on Tuesdays to encourage the use of reusable items.

 2018-19 Priorities

  • Develop Zero Waste Program, Marketing Materials, and begin education campaign.
  • Continue deployment of Zero Waste Infrastructure.
  • Decrease single-use water bottles at campus events and meetings.
  • Establish a program in student housing to collect electronics, durables, appliances, clothing and cleaning supplies during move-out.
  • Create an education program for the Housing Resident Assistants and a mandatory orientation for housing students on waste and recycling. Include proper recycling, composting and durables handling information in move-in and move-out procedures.

Comprehensive Assessment

Issue:

WR1.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of waste management and resource recovery by all entities on campus to ensure that these are being managed in the most efficient manner and that functions are not duplicated.  Streamline operations to maximize efficiencies.

Status:

The University has developed a new RFP that will require the waste hauler to collect data per bin pick up and to complete two waste audits annually. Potential to add TUC and USU to main contract.

Party Responsible:

PPM, AM, Housing, TUC, USU, AS, IS, PCA

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. TUC to determine if existing hauler can provide composting services.

Paper Towels v. Blow Dryers

Issue:

WR1.2

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Carry out cost-benefit analysis for replacing paper towels in restrooms with electric blow dryers, and replace where viable.

Status:

In progress: PPM has installed several and has identified a few restrooms with high traffic, access to electrical, and areas that would not be impacted by the noise.  Largely held up by funding for the dryers.

Party Responsible:

PPM

Next/Action Items:

In-progress.

Electronic Processes

Issue:

WR1.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Reduce printing of documents and implement two-sided printing wherever possible.

Status:

The University has purchased 94 printers purchased for every lab and the library. The new features include: Limited free printing and then there is a charge for excess. Default system to duplex, must select single sided. Branding for printing. "Think before you print." USU has moved over to duplex printing in student printing labs.
Housing- getting rid of paper tickets, using hand held devices for electronic W/O's.
USU and SRC are using electronic W/O's.
PPM- in discussion, Paper MER will go away using Siemens Advantage database. CMMS potential to change. They are using computers in shops to view W/O's reducing printing.
AS- Annual budget process all paperless. All AS printers are duplex.
AM- working on rolling out electronic process. 

Party Responsible:

IT, College IT Reps., Library

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Continue electronic process implementation.

Office Surplus Program

Issue:

WR1.4

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Establish an office surplus reuse or donation program for office supplies that includes tracking.

Status:

AS and AM have begun to researching this and need to determine general logistics of this program. Potential to use Matador Exchange system for this program.

Party Responsible:

AS, IS, AM

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Investigate potential to use Matador Exchange for this type of program.

Disposable Dinnerware

Issue:

WR1.5

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Reduce use of all disposable dinnerware, plates, utensils and cups on campus.

Status:

All plates, utensils, cups and containers (PUCC’s) are compostable including Pepsi cups except for hot soup containers. Franchises are excluded.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Recycling Center

Issue:

WR2.1

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Construct a new recycling facility to provide expanded recycling ability both in terms of quantity and type of materials

Status:

New AS Sustainability and Recycling Center is in design. Design should be completed end of semester.

Party Responsible:

AS, FPDC

Next/Action Items:

Construction will begin Fall 2015.

Expand Recycling Program

Issue:

WR2.2

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Expand recycling program to all buildings

Status:

In-Building recycling program was piloted this year. This program should be expanded, but staffing and funding are issues. A CQF grant for new bins was applied, awaiting results. The new RFP will allow for the purchase of additional bins.

Party Responsible:

AS, PPM

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Continue to roll this program out throughout campus.

Bins in VPAC Lobby

Issue:

WR2.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Add recycling bins to the lobby of The Valley Performing Arts Center.

Status:

Recycling or compostable bins are being evaluated for VPAC.

Party Responsible:

AS, TUC, VPAC, PPM

Next/Action Items:

In-progress.

Recycling in Student Housing

Issue:

WR2.4

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Expand recycling and resource recovery to Residence Halls and provide recycling containers to all rooms or corridors in Student Housing

Status:

AS Recycling is servicing this location (18 bins). The new phase of housing will have recycling and landfill shoots to be collected by the hauler.

Party Responsible:

AS, Housing

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Need to determine how to improve the program in student housing.

Vertical Baler

Issue:

WR2.5

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Purchase a baler to yield bales of cardboard, solid mixed paper and PET

Status:

This will be included in the new AS Sustainability and Recycling Center.

Party Responsible:

AS

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. 

Recycle #3-7 Plastics

Issue:

WR2.6

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Investigate a market for recycled plastics #3-#7, and expand program accordingly

Status:

No progress on this, there needs to be a market for these items.

Party Responsible:

AS

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Item Reuse in Housing

Issue:

WR2.7

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Establish a space for storing students’ discarded items when students vacate housing

Status:

There has been no movement on this.

Party Responsible:

Housing, AS, PPM

Next/Action Items:

 No action taken.

Website of Recycled Items

Issue:

WR3.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Create a detailed website showing what items can be recycled and where to take them

Status:

Matador Exchange could be used for all items except for state property. State property could go through asset management.

Party Responsible:

AS, IS

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Investigate potential to use Matador Exchange for this type of program.

Signage for All Bins

Issue:

WR3.2

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Increase signage for all bins (plastic, cans, paper, compost, landfill signs)

Status:

Working with VISCOM on developing signage for bins as well as sustainability plan wide logos, etc.

Party Responsible:

AS, PPM, TUC, Housing, USU

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. 

Signage in High Waste Locations

Issue:

WR3.3

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Increase signage in high waste generating locations (dining services, restrooms, computer labs, etc.)

Status:

 Same strategy as above WR3.2.

Party Responsible:

AS, PPM, TUC, Housing, USU

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. 

Housing Education Program

Issue:

WR3.4

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Create an education program for the Housing Resident Assistants and a mandatory orientation for housing students on waste and recycling

Status:

The MataSphere themed living community will ideally grow and expand their efforts on education in housing.

Party Responsible:

Housing, AS

Next/Action Items:

 On-going. Housing to install sticker signage throughout their facilities during the summer of 2015.

Housing Coordinator

Issue:

WR3.5

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Create an “In-residence sustainability coordinator” position in Housing who is also a member of the Green Core Committee

Status:

Student taking the lead with education on recycling. MataSphere has potential to do this.

Party Responsible:

Housing

Next/Action Items:

 In-progress.

Sustainability Education

Issue:

WR3.6

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Expand education on sustainability practices related to waste through speakers, special events, classes, signage, videos, and field trips to landfills

Status:

 See Education section.

Party Responsible:

AS, IS

Next/Action Items:

 In-progress.

Historical Data Assessment

Issue:

WR4.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Conduct comprehensive assessment of historical waste and recycling data. Report data.

Status:

Collection, analysis and report were completed but data from the current waste hauler is spotty and unreliable.

Party Responsible:

PPM, IS, AS, USU, Housing, TUC

Next/Action Items:

On-going.

Data Collection and Accessibility

Issue:

WR4.2

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Coordinate waste data collection, reporting and management across campus. Make waste

and recycle data accessible and publicly available

Status:

All data is now being collected in the waste and recycling tracking google sheet.

Party Responsible:

PPM, IS, AS, USU, Housing, TUC

Next/Action Items:

 On-going.

Waste Audits

Issue:

WR4.3

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Conduct regular waste audits (food, trash, recycling, etc.)

Status:

This will be done through the new waste hauling contract 2 times annually. AS completed a visual audit of random bins throughout campus.

Party Responsible:

PPM, AS, Housing, TUC, USU, IS

Next/Action Items:

 On-going.

Assess Waste Streams

Issue:

WR4.4

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Continuously assess campus waste streams

Status:

This will be done through the new waste hauling contract 2 times annually.

Party Responsible:

 PPM, AM, Housing, TUC, USU, AS, IS, PCA

Next/Action Items:

 On-going.

Waste Management Research

Issue:

WR4.5

Priority:

Strategy:

Conduct research on the amount and quality of student, faculty and staff awareness of waste management on campus

Status:

No action taken

Party Responsible:

 IS

Next/Action Items:

Determine the level of education on the waste stream.