Zero Waste Coalition

Zero Waste Coalition


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.


In 2017, the ASUC Zero Waste Student Advisory Committee was established in an effort to connect organizations working on waste-related projects at UC Berkeley. In Spring of 2019, the committee was re-established and rebranded as the Zero Waste Coalition by Nicole Haynes. With a renewed interest in connecting waste-related organizations on campus, collaboration and communication within the community greatly improved, leading to successful initiatives such as:

Compost Week

  • In March 2020, the ZWC engaged over 5,000 students and faculty members in a weeklong push for compost education.

Non-Essential Single-Use Plastic Elimination Policy

  • In April 2020, UC Berkeley committed to the strongest plastic ban in the country. This comprehensive target will eliminate all non-essential single-use plastic with viable alternatives by 2030.

Zero Waste October

  • A month of educational programming aimed at engaging individuals at UC Berkeley in waste sorting and reduction efforts. In 2019, students pledged to participate in Zero Waste events and complete weekly challenges. Zero Waste Coalition Member organizations hosted events throughout the month, providing students and staff opportunities to become more involved. *Zero Waste October was initially started by a middle school teacher and her students in Marin, CA.

Building connections with campus administration and increasing communication about zero waste initiatives

  • Since May 2019, ZWC leaders have built connections across campus allowing their efforts to be better promoted and supported by the university and increasing communication about the work of waste-related organizations.

Julia Sherman

Zero Waste Coalition Chair

Julia is a 4th year studying Genetics and Plant Biology with a minor in Energy & Resources. She works as a Zero Waste Fellow in the Office of Sustainability and is passionate about improving sustainability at Cal. She also serves as President of the Cal Triathlon Team - if she isn’t sorting through trash you’ll find her swimming, biking, or running.

Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn Wilson

Zero Waste Coalition Vice Chair

Kathryn is a 3rd year studying Society and Environment with minors in Energy & Resources and Education. She previously worked as an Energy and Water Conservation Coordinator for the Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA) and now facilitates the Energy & Sustainability Decal on campus. Outside of academics and work, she competes on Cal Club Tennis and enjoys hiking the fire trails on weekends! 

Getting Involved in Zero Waste

Interested in Zero Waste on campus? Check out a few of the ZWC featured member organizations below & view the full list here.

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

SERC Zero Waste Research Center

SERC Zero Waste Research Center

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 Plastic-Free Seas

CALPIRG Students

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.


Zero Waste Coalition official email:

Meeting Time: During the academic year, the ZWC meets once per month on Thursday nights from 7:30-9:00pm.

Meeting Notes: You can access past ZWC Meeting Notes here.