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. See an overview of the Zero Waste Coalition and its projects here


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. Successful initiatives include:

Cal Move Out

  • For the last two weeks in May 2021, we revamped the Cooperative Reuse program to offer free mattress and furniture recycling for Cal students. This program successfully diverted over 200,000 lbs of landfill waste and recycled nearly 600 mattresses.

Virtual Engagement

  • We maintain engagement via regular ZWC Zoom meetings and a Workshop with SCEC on Accessibility and Environmental Justice in the Zero Waste Movement. In the Fall, we educated more than 1500 students through virtual beginning of class presentations about environmental justice.

Zero Waste Lab

  • In the fall of 2020, we started the Zero Waste Lab, which has hosted over 70 undergraduate researchers working remotely on almost 25 zero waste related research projects.

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. *Zero Waste October was initially started by a middle school teacher and her students in Marin, CA.

Kathryn Wilson

Kathryn Wilson

Zero Waste Coalition Chair

Kathryn is a 4th year studying Society and Environment with a minor in Education. She previously served as the Vice Chair of the Zero Waste Coalition, as well as worked as an Energy and Water Conservation Coordinator for the Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA). She currently facilitates the Energy & Sustainability Decal on campus, where students are exposed to a broad range of energy professionals and learn the basics of renewable energy systems. Outside of academics and work, she competes on Cal Club Tennis and enjoys hiking the fire trails on weekends!

Emily Que

Emily Que

Zero Waste Coalition Vice Chair

Emily is a 2nd year studying Architecture with a minor in Sustainable Design. She is also currently working as an intern at Building Sustainably at Cal (BS@C) where she focuses on implementing green building strategies in order to improve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings for building on campus. She previously worked as a sustainability intern for the Housing and Dining Sustainability Advocates (HADSA) where she spearheaded her own energy saving project for the residence halls. Along with her work in sustainability, Emily also loves reading, photography, and hiking!

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