Zero Waste

Material Handling Procedures




Collection bins for recyclable materials (bottles, cans, mixed paper, cardboard, mixed plastics, metals, glass) are distributed across the campus grounds, as well as in campus buildings. Outdoor bins are are emptied by Grounds Shop employees and the contents are placed in blue recycling dumpsters to be collected by the campus waste hauler. Indoor bins are emptied by custodial staff, and the contents are placed in the recycling dumpsters near that building to be collected by the campus waste hauler.

  • Standard interior bins, 22 and 51-gallons
  • Standard exterior bins
  • Blue bin liners
  • Carts for material collections
  • 3-yard exterior dumpsters

Paper Shredding


PPM offers a secure document shredding service to the campus. Departments collect sensitive documents in 11-gallon secure consoles or 65-gallon containers. When these are full, departments submit an online request to have Postal Services empty or swap out these containers. The material is transported in a secure van to the shredding facility in PPM, where it is securely stored until it can be shredded. Once shredded it is stored in locked 3-yard bins until seven of these bins are full, at which point they are picked up by Athens Services. Athens transports the material to a recycling facility where the material is sold. CSUN receives 50% of the profits from the sale of this material.

  • Desk-side bins
  • Central office bins
  • Standard interior bins
  • Exterior dumpsters
  • Blue bin liners
  • Document transport van
  • 11-gallon secure consoles
  • 65-gallon secure collection cart
  • Commercial document shredder
  • Paper bin tipper




Unneeded pallets are stored at PPM, and picked up to be reused by CSUN's custodial supplier, Waxie. Roughly 150 pallets are picked up for reuse every six months.

  • Pallet storage area



Students can place their laser toner cartridges in their original box, envelope or bag, and seal it to prevent leaking. They can then drop it off at the Associated Students recycling office. Faculty and staff should seal their toner cartridge in its original box, or in an envelope or bag. They can then print a provided shipping label from the AS website, tape it to the sealed toner box, envelope or bag, and place it in the mailbox to be sent to AS. AS palletizes toner cartridges with other non-state electronics they receive. Once three pallets worth of material have accumulated, they are sold to and collected by California Recycles.

Toner cartridges from the large multi-function printers associated with cost-per-copy services are returned to Reprographics via campus mail. They are then either shipped back to the original vendor using pre-paid shipping labels, or are collected by the vendor directly for recycling.

  • Campus shipping labels for used cartridges
  • Shipping packaging



Green waste

Green waste is primarily composed of landscape trimmings (leaves, branches, grass) and is collected throughout campus by the Grounds Department. Green waste is taken to a site located adjacent to the Sustainable Food Garden to be composted. Larger items are shredded so that they will break down more easily.

  • String trimmers, leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, chain saws, and other powered or manual landscaping tools
  • Tractor
  • Chipper
  • Mowers
  • Fenced-in compost yard


Food Waste

All of the CSUN Dining facilities on campus divert their pre-consumer food waste by placing it in an organics dumpster, which is taken to a composting facility by Athens Services. Pre- and post-consumer food waste from Geronimo's dining facility is placed in a 30-yard container, which is picked up by Athens Services and taken to their composting facility. Most campus buildings now have an "Organics" bin for food waste and paper food containers. These bins are emptied by custodial staff, and the material placed in specified containers by each building's dumpsters. These containers are emptied by Athens, and the material taken to a composting facility.

In Freudian Sip locations, leftover food that has not been served is collected by the Food Recovery Network and donated to local charitable organizations. As the Food Recovery Network grows, they will expand their collections to include more campus dining facilities.

  • Interior bins for organic material
  • Clear bin liners
  • Exterior organics containers
  • 30-yard container
  • Bins for pre-consumer food collection and coffee grounds
  • Bins for food recovery efforts


Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is collected from campus dining facilities in designated containers, and collected by Biotane Pumping, who then recycles it into alternative fuels - namely biodiesel.

  • Bins for oil collection


Construction and Demolition

Inert materials such as sand, gravel and concrete are collected in a 10-yard bin specifically for inert materials. All other construction and demolition waste, such as drywall, broken furniture or construction scraps are placed in a 40-yard bin, which is collected by Athens to be sorted and sent to the appropriate facilities.

  • 40-yard bin


Scrap Metal

Metals are placed in a 40-yard bin in the PPM Corporation Yard, and collected by Athens Services. The contents of this bin are sold and the University receives a percentage of the metals' value.

  • 40-yard bin



Inert materials such as sand and gravel are placed in a 10-yard bin in the PPM Corporation Yard, and emptied by Athens Services once per week. These materials are typically used in landfills as a covering layer, but are considered diverted.

  • 10-yard bin for inerts


University-owned equipment and property

Unwanted property, such as furniture, filing cabinets, computers, appliances etc. are taken to Asset Management and stored. Faculty and staff may retrieve items from Asset Management for use in their workspace. Items that are damaged beyond repair are disassembled. Their constituent parts are recycled as scrap metal or other recyclable material when possible, or disposed of in a landfill.

Usable items that aren't retrieved by the campus community are sent to auction. About 98% of assets auctioned are done so through Public Surplus, an online auction. CSUN receives 90% of each product's selling price. Vehicles, trailers and other large items are auctioned through Ken Porter Auctions, for which CSUN receives 95% of the items' selling price. Ken Porter Auctions is also used for furniture that is in usable condition, but not deemed fit for auction through the labor-intensive Public Surplus Process.

  • Warehouse
  • Donation Trailer
  • Loading Dock
  • Internet Auction Site



Faculty and staff can call AS Recycling at 818-677-4262 to schedule a pickup of their personal electronic products. Students can drop off their e-waste at the AS Recycling Office. AS palletizes e-waste for collection by California Recycles.

E-Waste generated by general-fund operations is processed through Asset Management.  Materials are collected, asset tags are removed and the equipment is retired as appropriate, then separated into various e-waste categories and stored until picked up by ECS Refining, which is under a system-wide contract.

  • Warehouse
  • Loading dock


Universal Waste (EH&S)

Batteries are the main form of universal waste for which the end user is responsible. Most other universal waste, such as fluorescent lamps, are handled by PPM and taken to EH&S. EH&S picks up batteries from departments when requested. Users can also call to schedule a time to drop off their batteries at EH&S. Clean Harbors currently picks up Hazardous and Universal waste from EH&S.

  • Envelopes for batteries
  • Specialized containers for fluorescent lamps and other universal waste


Hazardous Waste (EH&S)

Most hazardous waste on campus comes from laboratories. There is a designated person in each department to handle hazardous waste. Whenever a certain amount is accumulated, they are responsible for filling out the required forms and arranging for the material to be transported to EH&S. From there, it is picked up by Clean Harbors for proper treatment and disposal.

  • Hazardous waste storage area
  • Hazardous material storage containers



Disposal Procedures


Landfill bins can be found throughout the campus exterior, and are also inside all buildings. Interior receptacles are emptied daily by custodial staff, and their contents placed in 3, 4 or 6-yard dumpsters. Exterior receptacles are collected by the Grounds Department and brought centrally to the PPM Corporation Yard and deposited into a 40-yard roll-off. These containers are picked up by Athens Services 2-3 times per week, and taken to their Materials Recovery Facility. Once there, Athens sorts through all the material, removing about 30% of the stream in the form of mixed recyclables. These are sorted into the proper recycling stream, and the remaining material is sent to the landfill.

  • Interior trash bins
  • Exterior trash bins
  • Black bin liners
  • Exterior 6-yard dumpsters
  • 40-yard bin for landfill