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 after almost a year of inactivity. With a renewed interest in connecting waste-related organizations on campus, collaboration and communication within the community greatly improved. 

Ongoing Initiatives

Establishing a Zero Waste Fellow Position at the UCB Office of Sustainability & Carbon Solutions

  • The creation of this student position will institutionalize the Zero Waste Coalition and all of its programming. The Fellow will serve as the chair of the ZWC and help to shape the overall trajectory of zero waste work on campus through communication with important campus partners. They will work closely with Cal Zero Waste, SERC, HADSA, and other waste-related organizations; while acting as the point-person for administrative communication.

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 Waste Reduction Coordinator for the Housing & Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA) 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.

Rose Wilson

Zero Waste Coalition Vice Chair

Rose is a 2nd year studying History and Society & Environment. She works as a Student Associate for Cal Zero Waste and interns for CALPIRG’s Plastic Free Seas Campaign. She is also on the Cal Triathlon Team and the author of a blog dedicated to unique banana recipes.

Past Initiatives

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.

Compost Week

  • In March of 2020, the ZWC engaged over 5,000 students and faculty members in a weeklong push for compost education. Representatives presented on compost to several classes across campus, and tabled/trash-talked on Sproul. The ZWC also worked with the city of Berkeley to increase off-campus composting by handing out at-home compost bins and providing resources to students who live in apartments without existing composting infrastructure.

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. The ZWC played an integral role in the commitment of the university to this policy.

Compost Facility Tour

  • In February 2020 ZWC leaders and Cal Zero Waste Staff toured the West Contra Costa Compost Facility, where all compost waste from UC Berkeley is processed. During the tour, Alex Shimada, Operations Manager of the facility, provided key insight on the composting process. Connecting with Shimada allowed for a better understanding of where Cal's compost goes and how we can most effectively educate our student population.


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. These meetings allow for updates and collaboration between member organizations.

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