University of California, Riverside


Waste Management



UCR diverted more than 2600 tons of municipal waste in FY 2015-2016, about 80% of the waste generated by campus activities. Of that, 1646 tons of waste were recycled. 

Campus bins

Commingled and separated recycling bins are located throughout the campus. Some common items that may be recycled in the UCR bins are aluminum and steel cans, glass jars and bottles, books, cardboard, cardstock, clean aluminum foil and Styrofoam with a recycling symbol , computer and construction paper, envelopes, egg cartons, food boxes and plastic bags. If you are not sure if an item is recyclable or not please call the CalRecycle Hotline at 1-888-336-6100.


At UCR it is easy to compost your coffee grinds and tea bags. Located just behind the HUB and C-Store you will find the composting bins. There is also a compost bin inside of the hub by Panda Express.

UCR dining services successfully composted 100% (over 200 tons) of pre-consumed organic food waste in 2010.

Coffee Grinds Project

Did you know, more than 330 million cups of coffee is consumed daily by Americans alone? The Coffee Grinds Project is small and growing project to compost coffee grinds in office buildings throughout the UCR campus offices. Source

Hazardous Waste

In order to prevent health problems and be environmentally ethical, hazardous waste should be recycled. All hazardous waste can be picked up by the UCR Environmental Health and Safety department. More information.

CFL light bulbs

CFL bulbs contain Mercury so they cannot be recycled from home. Instead, they must be disposed of properly. Check with a local organization, visit or call (800) CLEAN-UP for proper methods of disposal. Many local businesses such as The Home Depot and IKEA accept CFL's for disposal. For UCR students, staff and faculty, EH&S can pick up hazardous waste. For more information please visit here.


Batteries range in all different products but most batteries can be recycled. To recycle batteries properly, go to to look for local businesses that collect batteries for recycle.

For UCR students, staff and faculty, EH&S can pick up hazardous waste. For more information please visit the EH&S website. or watch a video:


Did you know, according to the EPA, the average American household owns 24 electronic products? Americans discard more than 100 million e-waste products per year. “E-waste” refers to any unwanted electronic device or Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and is classified as universal waste. E-waste frequently contains hazardous materials, predominantly lead and mercury, and is produced by households, businesses, governments, and industries. To properly dispose of electronics, visit or visit the California Department of Toxic Control. For UCR students, staff and faculty, the storehouse can pick up electronic waste. To request a pickup, please click here.


The following is the data for waste diversion in the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 for UCR.

  • Organic Waste Composted: 1663.56 tons of pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste composted
  • Landscape Waste: 865 tons of waste generated from ground maintenance either mulched or biodegraded on campus.
  • Commingled Recycling: 471 tons recycled from bottles, cans, glass and mixed paper products.
  • Paper/Cardboard recycled: 48 tons – separate from mixed recycling.
  • Construction Demolition and Debris: 596 tons – we are now reaching 95% diversion rate for construction waste.
  • Solid Waste/Municipal Waste: 898 tons sent to landfill.
  • 83% diversion rate for campus

Recycle Coffee Cup

Three R's

Reduce – To reduce waste means to avoid making garbage in the first place. This requires rethinking design for the total life cycle of the product and behavioral change in customers. . For instance, did you know that Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12-foot high wall stretching from New York to San Francisco – that's 10,000 + sheets per person. This means the United States – 5% of the world population – consumes 30% of the world's paper. Reducing can be applied to almost anything including, food consumption, oil consumption and general waste production. UCR’s Office of the Chancellor has made double-sided printing the default on all of its printers and copiers.

Reuse – Reusing an item means that it continues to be a valuable, useful, productive item, and replaces new items that would utilize more water, energy, timber, petroleum, and other limited natural resources. Source.

Reusing an item includes: thrift stores and charitable drop off center, reuse centers, drop & swap stations at landfills, used equipment stores and salvage yards, local and regional material exchanges and freecycling. UCR’s Storehouse resells used office furniture and equipment to the community.

Recycle -- To recycle is the act of processing used or abandoned materials for use in creating new products. Everything from paper, cans to electronic waste can be properly recycled. There are also many different types of recycling. Know the difference between commingled recycling, mixed waste collection, and composting. UCR is instigating a pen and pencil recycling program for 2011.

  • Commingled – In commingled or single stream recycling, all recyclables for collection are mixed but kept separate from other waste. This greatly reduces the need for post collection cleaning but does require public education on what is recyclable.
  • Mixed waste collection – As defined by The United States Environmental Protection Agency, Mixed waste contains both hazardous waste and radioactive waste. It can also refer to any combination of waste types with different properties. Typically commercial and municipal wastes are mixtures of plastics, metals, glass, biodegradable waste including paper and textiles.
  • Composting – Composting is creating fertilizer used for organic farming from the collection of food and plant waste. Composting can be rich in nutrients and is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture and agriculture. UCR is studying the benefits and costs of setting up an on-campus composting facility.



UCR Housing 

UCR Physical Plant

UCR RecycleMania



City of Riverside Collection

UCR EH&S Hazardous Waste Pick up

Learn More.

Responsible Consumerism - November

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Office of Sustainability
University Village
1223 University Avenue, Suite 200P

Tel: (951) 827-1270
Fax: (951) 827-3890

Related Links