UCSF Sustainability Stories
Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact, March 2017
Toss Correctly: New Website Helps UCSF Reduce Waste
Does this scenario sound familiar? You forgot your mug and just finished a cup of coffee in a paper cup. When you reach the recycling station, you can’t remember if the cup can be recycled or composted, so you toss it into the trash. UCSF’s new recycling and waste reduction website, zerowaste.ucsf.edu, is to the rescue. The new mobile-friendly site, developed to help UCSF reach its goal of zero waste by 2020, is a free and easy resource to help users who are unclear whether items should be reused, recycled, composted, or disposed of for landfill. With a few clicks, you can quickly be reminded that paper cups go in the compost bin.
Currently, UCSF diverts 74 percent of its recyclables and compostables from the landfill. But a recent waste audit revealed that 80-90 percent of what UCSF tosses into the trash could have been recycled or composted. “The site focuses on getting people information on how to toss correctly,” said Adam Schnirel, Assistant Director/Recycling Coordinator at UCSF. “It is working to change behavior toward reuse, composting, and recycling,” continued Schnirel.
Take the Quiz
Zerowaste.ucsf.edu includes an interactive quiz where users can test their knowledge. For example, if you work in a lab, how do you dispose of pipette tip boxes? A quick search gives you the answer: Pipette tip boxes go in the recycle bin, while the pipettes themselves go in the garbage.
The question that got me was plastic wrap—I answered that it could be recycled, but the quiz reminded me, “If dirty, plastic wrap goes in the garbage.”
A series of events will be hosted to launch the new website. Check out the schedule below for details on when and where the events will be held.