Waste Diversion Guide

Waste #MyLastTrash


The University of California has committed to sending zero waste to the landfill by 2020. All University of California campuses have collaborated on a campaign called #MyLastTrash to bring awareness of the zero waste by 2020 goal. Visit zerowaste2020.universityofcalifornia.edu for details.

Student Housing and Dining Services has implemented various waste diversion strategies to help UC Davis reach this goal. Residents are responsible for removing waste from their room, bringing it to the nearest collection area and depositing into the appropriate bin or chute.

Click on the waste stream below to learn more.

Area-Specific Waste Diversion Guides


ReusablesCollection bins for Reusables are located at the Area Service Desks. Reusable items are donated to the Aggie Reuse Store located on campus in the Memorial Union.

Mixed Recyclables

Mixed recyclablesAll Student Housing areas are collecting recyclables in one bin, which is known as Mixed Recycling. In other words, paper can be put into the same bin as aluminum cans - no need to separate the items.


CardboardCardboard boxes are to be flattened and put in the proper bin – boxes are not to be placed in chutes nor in the Mixed Recyclables toters. Click on area for Cardboard collection bin locations: Cuarto, Segundo, Tercero.

Organic Waste

Organic waste (composting)Centralized yellow toters labeled compost are available to collect Organic Waste that will be sent to a commercial facility to produce compost. Click on area for organic waste collection locations: Cuarto, Segundo, Tercero.

Electronic Waste (eWaste)

Electronic waste (e-waste)Collection bins for eWaste are located at the Area Service Desks.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous wasteUsed Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL's) can be exchanged at the Area Service Desk.


LandfillWaste that cannot be disposed of in any of the ways above will go in containers marked Landfill.

Take Action: Reduce Waste

Area-Specific Waste Diversion Guides feature locations of all waste bins nearest your res hall.

  • Rethink - Is that item really needed? How will you dispose of that item?
  • Refuse - Do you need that straw, receipt, free swag item?
  • Reduce - Replace single-use items with reusable ones (cups, bags, napkins, to-go containers, etc.).
  • Reuse - Upcycle or repurpose items. The internet is full of ideas!
  • Repair - Fix it rather than replace it.
  • Recycle - If it is recyclable, put it in the recycling bin.
  • Rot - If it is compostable, put it in the compost collect bin.

Student Housing and Dining Services Best Practices

In the Residence Halls

  • Water refill stations in every res hall (Residents are given a reusable, insulated beverage bottle when they move in.)
  • Mixed recycling and landfill bins in every resident room
  • Centralized compost collect bins on every res hall floor, kitchen, break room and waste enclosure
  • Reusables and eWaste collection bins at every Area Service Desk
  • Signage on how to sort waste on bins
  • Composts paper towels from restrooms
  • Cardboard and polystyrene collection during Move-in
  • Goodwill Not Landfill during Move-out

In the Dining Commons

  • Composts pre- and post-consumer food waste
  • Recycles cooking oil
  • Trayless dining, which has reduced food waste by nearly 30 percent and saved more than 50,000 gallons of water
  • Quarterly waste audits
  • Eliminated plastic bags for to-go items in the convenience stores
  • Try-a-taste (sample an entrée before taking an entire serving)
  • Just ask! (customize your plate, e.g., ask for a half portion or no bun)
  • Food Recovery Network

For more information

University of California Zero Waste by 2020
UC Davis Office of Sustainability: Waste Reduction
Aggie Surplus Store
Aggie Reuse Store