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Zero Waste

Zero waste hierarchy of most preferable means of waste versus least preferable.

GOAL

Achieve Zero Waste by 2025

PROGRESS

In 2015, about 550 tons of material went to the landfill, with the next few years in the same range.  In 2020, when the campus went remote, approximately 250 tons of material was produced as building operations continued at a minimum basis.  In Fall 2021, we began a campus-wide organics composting program.  In January 2022, CSUSM stopped the sales and distribution of single-use plastics.

More information on our Journey to Zero Waste:

  • Compost

    CSUSM is now offering composting around campus! Please look for the green bins located inside the USU and around campus. 

    What CSUSM Can Compost

    • Cooked and uncooked food
    • Bones and meat
    • Used napkins
    • Vegetable and fruit peelings
    • Paper plates and other soiled paper products
    • Coffee grounds & filters

    What CSUSM CANNOT Compost

    • Plastic 1-7
    • Silverware 
    • Soft Plastic 
    • Cups and lids
    • Cans
    • Glass
  • Recycling

    What CSUSM Can Recycle

    PLASTICS 1-7

    • Bottles
    • Cups and lids
    • Food containers 
    • Yogurt containers
    • Rigid plastic

    CANS 

    • Aluminum
    • Aerosol 
    • Coffee Containers
    • Tin Cans
    • Foil

    GLASS

    • Bottles 
    • Jars

    CARDBOARD AND PAPER 

    • Cereal and food boxes
    • Juice and milk cartons
    • Paper cups and insulating sleeves
    • Color and white paper
    • Post-it notes
    • File Folders

    **Empty containers of all food and liquids prior to disposal.**

    What CSUSM CANNOT Recycle

    • Plastic bags and plastic food wrap
    • Napkins, paper towels, and tissues
    • Chip bags and food wrappers (gum, granola bars, etc)
    • Padded envelopes and packing bubbles
    • Stickers and adhesive paper
    • Astro-bright, high gloss & carbon paper
    • Transparencies and laminated paper
    • Picture frame glass and broken glass
    • Porcelain and ceramic items
    • Straws- All our straws are now 100% compostable and cannot be recycled
  • Landfill

    What Goes to Landfill

    • Utensils
    • Masks & Gloves
    • Candy/ snack wrappers
    • Gum
    • Plastic bags 
    • Saran wrap
    • Everything else that can't be recycled or composted

    What DOES NOT go to Landfill 

    • Cans
    • Glass
    • Food scraps 
    • Plastics 1-7
    • Paper
    • Cardboard
  • Battery Recycling
     

    This program is designed to capture all spent batteries generated on campus. Please do NOT deposit spent batteries that are generated off campus, i.e. home, or send batteries through intra-campus mail. Batteries come in various shapes, sizes and materials. Ensure that the spent batteries being discarded match the description below. Batteries ACCEPTED in this program are:

    Alkaline, Lithium (Li-ion), Nickel Cadmium (NiCd),  and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) (AA, AAA, C, D, 9-Volt, & Button Cell)

    All batteries MUST have the terminal ends taped with electrical tape. A roll of electrical tape and a pair of scissors should be available next to the spent battery container. If the pair of scissors is missing or you need more electrical tape, contact Safety, Health & Sustainability.

    For batteries that don’t match the description noted above (i.e. small sealed lead batteries), these would need to be managed separately. Please call Safety, Risk & Sustainability at 760-750-4502 or email shs@csusm.edu to have this done.

    Battery Drop-Off Locations:

    • Arts Building 239A
    • Common 201
    • Craven 2301, 4600, 4700, 6119, & 6231
    • VEP 106 (Break Room)
    • Kellogg Library 3011
    • Markstein 256 & 346
    • McMahan House
    • Science Hall I 313 & 314
    • Science Hall II Faculty Offices 1st - 3rd Floors & 247A
    • Social & Behavioral Science Building 3220 & 4220
    • Student Health & Counseling Services Break Room
    • University Hall 321 & 322B
    • University Services Building E-waste Area
    • University Student Union 2430, USU, 3500, USU East Wing Reception Desk, & USU Mail Room
    • University Village Apartments Front Counter
  • Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

    CSUSM recycles the following campus generated E-Waste: 

    • Computer Monitors
    • Computer Speakers
    • CRT Monitors
    • Telephones
    • Stereo Equipment
    • LCD Monitors
    • Cell Phones
    • Keyboards/Mice Laptops
    • Copiers/Printers
    • Scanners
    • Televisions
    • Fax Machine
    • Miscellaneous Wiring
    • Plasma Screens/TVs
    • MP3 Players
    • Items with Electronic Boards
    • DVD Players
    • VCRs

    We Do Not Accept: Household/Commercial Appliances or Hazardous Materials/ Waste All personal data is erased or destroyed for your protection.  

    Contact the Property Control at 760-750-4535

  • Light Bulbs

    CSUSM recycles:

    • Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs
    • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
    • LED lights
    • High-intensity discharge lamps
    • Ballasts 

     

    Contact Facility Services at 760-750-4600 for pick up. 

  • Printer Cartridges

    CSUSM recycles used inkjet and laser jet printer cartridges.

    Contact Property Control at 760-750-4535 for pick-up. 


Additional Resources