Zero Waste

Getting to Zero Waste

Today we are diverting about 54% of our municipal solid waste stream to recycling, composting, or reuse. To help us achieve zero waste:

  • Put compostable and recyclable materials into the right bins. 

  • Reduce reliance on packaging, plastics, and single-use products. 

  • Use more reusables!

For more information about zero waste at UC Berkeley, see our Waste Goals and Performance

Zero Waste Coalition

Students can get involved in the Zero Waste movement on campus by joining the Zero Waste Coalition. To learn more about ZWC, visit their page


The Zero Waste Coalition aims to bring together waste-related organizations at UC Berkeley to improve communication between them, collaborate on initiatives, be a resource for zero waste on campus, and foster a zero waste community.

Berkeley Zero Waste Group

Zero Waste Coalition Initiatives 

  • Our monthly Coalition meetings bring together various campus organizations and departments working on zero waste projects, bridging these groups together and fostering collaboration.

  • Meetings are open to anyone with an interest in zero waste; fill out our interest form for the time and location of our next meeting!

Cal Move Out

  • We organize Cooperative Reuse, an annual, city-wide furniture recycling program. In 2023, the program successfully diverted over 200,000 pounds of landfill waste and recycled nearly 400 mattresses. Additionally, we partnered with Goodwill and donated over 10,000 pounds of household goods.

Zero Waste Lab

  • In the fall of 2020, we started the Zero Waste Lab, which gives undergraduate students opportunities to participate in zero waste-related research projects with on-campus and off-campus stakeholders. 

  • Interested students can apply on the SPUR website

Zero Waste October

  • A month of educational programming aimed at engaging individuals at UC Berkeley in waste sorting and reduction efforts. Zero Waste October was initially started by a middle school teacher and her students in Marin County, California.



Zero Waste Coalition official email:

Meeting Time: During the academic year, the ZWC meets every three weeks on Wednesdays at 5 pm at the SERC Space. Fill out our Interest Form to join our bCal list!

Getting Involved in Zero Waste

Interested in Zero Waste on campus? Check out a few of the Zero Waste Coalition featured member organizations below. View the full list

For more information on sustainability-related courses and organizations, see the Student Environmental Resource Center's (SERC) New Student Resources


The SERC Zero Waste Research Center researches and implements strategies for reducing campus waste, with a focus on purchasing, redesigning products, creating behavior change incentives, and instituting closed-loop “circular economy” waste systems. 



CALPIRG is a student-run nonprofit committed to tackling climate change, protecting public health, and revitalizing democracy. The Plastic-Free Seas campaign is calling for campus, city, and statewide bans on single-use plastic.


UC Berkeley ReUSE

ReUSE is a not-for-profit thrift store run by student volunteers, located in the MLK Jr. Student Union. They accept donations of clothes, textbooks, office supplies, and other miscellaneous items which are cycled back into the community.