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Zero Waste – #MyLastTrash

UC Commitment

The University of California system is committed to going zero waste by 2020, and we’re already diverting 69 percent of our solid waste from landfills systemwide.

Campus Waste Reduction Efforts

UC San Diego is reducing waste by:

  • Supporting a single-bin recycling program that allows all designated recyclables to be placed in any campus recycling container
  • Educating the campus community about what's recyclable in offices, labs, residence halls and the City of San Diego
  • Discontinuing use of disposable plastic bags at the campus bookstore
  • Using non-disposable serveware in dining facilities
  • Defaulting to double-sided printing for all Business Affairs copiers
  • Installing campus Hydration Locations to help reduce plastic bottle use by providing a convenient way to refill reusable containers with chilled, filtered water
  • Using Ted, UC San Diego’s own learning management system, to allow faculty and students to place class materials, such as syllabi and assignments, online to save paper
  • Developing guidelines for Hosting Zero-Waste Event on Campus
  • Diverting pre-consumer food waste, such as vegetable and fruit trimmings, into a compost system to create rich compost that is used in campus community gardens
  • Partnering with the City of San Diego to test the possible diversion of post-consumer food waste, including compostable dinnerware, at San Diego’s landfill expansion

Campus reuse efforts include:

  • Providing departments a way to resell, recycle, and dispose of excess university property through Surplus Sales
  • Implementing ChemCycle, our own chemical recycling facility that accepts usable surplus chemicals, then provides them to researchers free of charge
  • Collecting oil for re-refining and using retread tires on campus shuttles
  • Donating furniture, electronics, and non-perishable food to charitable organizations upon student move outs
  • Offering discounts for using reusable mugs at campus dining facilities

UC-wide Actions


The #MyLastTrash Campaign was designed to promote the goal of achieving zero waste by 2020 while aiming to change our behaviors associated with how we handle and reduce waste. This concept was chosen with three main criteria in mind:

  1. Make zero waste personal. Hence the “My…”
  2. Include all the ways and reasons we think about waste and change our behaviors.
  3. Create a movement that will remain relevant until 2020.

Refuse what you don’t need, reuse what you can and recycle what you can’t.

Take Action

  • Take the Pledge: Commit to three simple actions to reduce waste. Pledge now.
  • Spread the Word: Use #MyLastTrash on social media to share an example of waste reduction on any UC campus.
  • Stay Informed: Read about how our campus is reducing waste.

#MyLastTrash Pledge

Get involved. Take the #MyLastTrash waste reduction pledge today!

Take the Pledge!

Other Resources

My campus. My community. My planet. #MyLastTrash.

Visit UC Zero Waste for more information.