Cal Zero Waste

Zero Waste October 2021

Cal Zero Waste, Student Environmental Resource Collective (SERC), and Zero Waste Coalition are continuing a campus tradition to celebrate zero waste during the month of October. We are calling on the campus community to join us in celebrating, highlighting, and striving for zero waste through a diverse series of events and tabling activities. Zero Waste October will be educational, productive, and invigorating to encourage the campus community to reduce their waste and properly sort their materials. 

This year, Zero Waste October will highlight the new Single-Use Plastic Elimination Policy where UC Berkeley has committed to ban all non-essential single-use plastics from campus by 2030. 

SERC is hosting Zero Waste October this year with the support of other campus environmental organizations. SERC is also celebrating Earth Justice Month to recognize efforts on-campus and beyond to advocate for inclusive, equitable paths towards a racially, environmentally, and socially just future.

To see the full list of Zero Waste October and Earth Justice Month events, go to If you have a zero waste event or activity you would like to list on the page please contact:

Collaboration with Healthy Beverage Initiative to Reduce Plastic Bottle Use and Encourage Refills

The Healthy Beverage Initiative (HBI) is an initiative spearheaded by the University Health Services at UC Berkeley to encourage the campus community to drink more tap water and utilize the water refill stations on campus. The goals promoted by HBI are to provide the opportunity for UC campuses to make strides towards reducing sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) sales and to provide and promote tap water as a healthy alternative. In partnership with HBI, Cal Zero Waste is promoting Fill It Forward, a program that helps you track your water bottle reuse and environmental footprint real time and contributes to charitable water projects around the world.

University Health Services is running an Instagram contest through October 31th, 2021. They are raffling off two $50 gift cards each week! To enter, 1) Create an Instagram post sharing how water helps you be well at Cal. 2) Use hashtag #WaterMadeThis and tag @BeWellCal. Posts can be of you on campus, in nature, or showing your favorite reusable bottle and refill station on campus. Visit the HBI page for more information and rules.

Fill It Forward is simple––all you have to do is place your Fill It Forward sticker on your reusable bottle, download the Fill It Forward app on your mobile device, and scan your sticker every time you refill your reusable bottle! Every scan donates funds to a charitable project and allows UC Berkeley to measure reuse on campus.

The mobile Fill It Forward app is available on:

App Store

Google Play


Cal Zero Waste manages over 25 tons of solid waste that move through the campus daily and is committed to expanding recycling and composting programs while providing effective refuse collection services. 

Our office offers recycling, composting and refuse pickup, debris box ordering, and porta-potty placement. To operate these programs, Cal Zero Waste works with various other campus entities such as Custodial Services for indoor waste and recycling collection and Grounds Operations for greenwaste and plant debris services. 

Our staff consists of a Zero Waste Manager, a Zero Waste Operations Supervisor, a Zero Waste Operations Coordinator, two Zero Waste Specialists, and Truck Drivers. We also employ a team part time student staff responsible for education and outreach programs, waste reduction projects, and building assessments.

We coordinate the recycling efforts for mixed paper, cans and bottles, greenwaste and wood, food waste, toner cartridges, and mixed metal. We are also a resource for general information on waste prevention and disposal, material reuse and recycling, and sustainable and environmentally preferred products. 

For more information about zero waste at UC Berkeley, click here to read UC Berkeley's 2019 Zero Waste Plan.

Manager, Cal Zero Waste: Lin King

Zero Waste Building Program 2020

The Zero Waste Building Program implements the standardized system of landfill, recycling, and composting in campus buildings. Click here to see the 2020 program and when your building will be transitioned to a Zero Waste Building.


Cal Zero Waste manages a number of programs that target the reduction of waste generated at UC Berkeley to get the campus to zero waste by 2020. .

Education and Promotion

Educational training and promotion is a key component to getting UC Berkeley to its zero waste by 2020 goal. Cal Zero Waste maintains a number of education programs that provide educational training and information to the campus community, including students, prospective students, staff, faculty and visitors.

Cal Zero Waste Newsletter Archive

Check out past issues of our monthly newsletter! Contains event summaries, photos, and zero waste tips.