Zero Waste



Our Mission: 

Zero waste, by EPA’s definition, is the conservation of products, packaging, and resources by means of responsible production, conservation, reuse, and recovery without exploiting natural resources like land, air, and water. When concerning the university, zero waste efforts include the involvement of various campus operations.  

With the involvement of multiple campus entities, UC Riverside is committed to achieving the UCOP Zero Waste goal by 2020. By implementing recycling programs, an official Zero Waste Plan, and the numerous departmental programs, we continue to strive for an overall 90% waste diversion rate.

Diversion Rate (FY 2019)

In 2019, UCR generated roughly 5000 tons of waste for the entire year. Of this total, we diverted 72% of the municipal and construction waste from the landfill to recycling and composting facilities. UCR has also reduced the daily per capita waste generation by 15% of the FY 2015-16 levels. 

For the past ten years, we have steadily increased our diversion rate by 10%. By continuing to better our recycling and composting programs along with investing in more “green” products, we strive to reach the set goal of 90% diversion rate by 2025.

ZW stats
DIY Tie-Dye Food Scraps Tutorial

UCR Dining 

Waste Diversion is a top priority for Dining and they take seriously every opportunity to REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE AND COMPOST.

They are currently working towards zero net waste and are focused on eliminating single-use plastics.

Learn more about UCR Dining

UCR Environmental Health & Safety

EH&S works to strengthen the culture of safety and responsibility across the campus community. Their Waste Management program helps us hazardous chemical, radioactive, biohazardous, and universal waste safely and legally.

Learn more about EH&S


R’Pantry is the UC Riverside food pantry. It was created as a direct response to student need for more resources to fight food insecurity. Food insecurity is the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner.

Learn more about R'Pantry

Campus Business Services

Document Shredding, E-Waste Disposal programs, and Recycling programs.


Student Housing

Learn about how UCR Student Housing is working towards sustainability.

Local Waste Resources


Our Programs

There are a number of programs at UCR that strive to have campus reach a UCOP set Zero Waste status by 2025. Under the below categories, you will find more details about the specific programs aiding in that zero waste initiative.