Waste Not, Want Not: Zero Waste Events at Cal

Project Leads: Julie Brown, Lin King, Katie Clabeaux, Shannon Davis

Sponsor: Campus Recycling and Refuse Services

TGIF Grant: $6,475

Project Theme: Waste Reduction

Project Location

2012 Application Submission

Application Metrics

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This grant is increasing campus efforts to hold zero waste events by supporting Cal Dining, hiring a student intern, funding medium-sized zero waste campus events, and collaborating with the Office of Sustainability's Green Event Certification.

Achieving Zero Waste at UC Berkeley

Goals: Research the feasibility of requiring vendors to use reusable catering ware, outreach to vendors on implementing these plans, and educate staff and faculty groups on the importance of using reusables at events. The Zero Waste Intern will help departments and groups on campus plan zero waste events and obtain Green Event Certification. Share results with CRRS and assist UC Berkeley with reaching its goal of zero waste by 2020. Draft a best practices document to deliver to CACS and CRRS upon completion of the project, which will help guide campus on how to contract with vendors for Zero Waste Events and will likely suggest best practices that require the use of reusable, recyclable, or compostable catering ware when feasible. Work with the recently TGIF-funded Cal Dining Sustainability Team on creating a reuseables campaign.

TGIF Blog Posts about Zero Waste Events

2013 Project Poster

2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • Hired student lead Katie Clabeaux.
  • Worked with the planners of Food Day 2012 to provide composting and recycling at the event. The Zero Waste Events team set-up 5 waste stations and diverted a trash-toter worth of recycling and composting.
  • ZWE worked with Cal Dining to create a ZWE option for its catering menu. This collaboration was showcased at the Composting Kick-off for 2000 Carlton in December.
  • Provided composting and recycling for the College of Natural Resource's Decemberfest.
  • Provided recycling for a Cal Tennis Tournament on January 18th with TGIF project leader and Cal tennis player Annie Goransson. 
  • Hired Shannon Davis to lead the project starting summer 2013.
  • Developed a zero waste events catering checklist and a zero waste facilities checklist to be launched in Spring 2014.
  • Developed a zero waste events flow chart.
UC Berkeley Zero Waste Events Flow Chart

Zero Waste Catering Guidelines

Final Report

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.