Current Waste Management Achievements

Waste Wise

CSU Channel Islands has continuously achieved our goal to increase our waste diversion rate since 2009. We have accomplished high diversion rates annually by improving our communication and educational efforts regarding waste management in the CI community. These efforts to reduce and divert waste sent to landfills help to lower methane emissions and minimize chemicals that can leach into our water tables. 

The following goals have been set by the CSU Chancellors Office for all CSU campuses:
  1. Campuses shall seek to reduce the solid waste disposal rate by 50 percent (PRC § 42921) by 2016 (which was achieved in FY 2015-16 and in FY 2016-2017). Subsequent goals are to reduce disposal by 80 percent by 2020 and move to zero waste thereafter.
  2. The CSU will encourage the reduction of hazardous waste to the furthest extent possible while supporting academic programs. This goal is tracked through STARS (Sustainability Tracking and Rating System), APPA-ESAT (Energy and Sustainability Assessment Tool), and our periodic Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

To reach these goals, we will need to further improve upon our communication efforts on campus, update and create educational signage, and continue to monitor diversion rates.

Displaying our diversion rates graphically every year helps us to visualize our progress in waste minimization and landfill diversion. Even with our growing student body, we still continue to decrease our waste generation compared to our baseline year of 2008. FTES = Full Time Equivalent Student

Waste Minimization Tips: 

  • Edit on screen; print and copy double-sided.
  • Choose reusable over disposables: dishware, silverware, bags for shopping, mugs and water bottles.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones. This helps reduce the amount of hazardous materials you throw away, and can save you money.
  • Make it a habit to bring own coffee mug and dishware.
  • Buy food from local sources to reduce the carbon footprint from transport.
  • Purchase food in bulk to avoid extra packaging materials, but make sure to use the product before it expires.
  • Repurpose existing items – be creative and instill new life into materials you paid for! Rinse out sauce jars instead of buying mason jars, plant seeds in rinsed yogurt cups, shred last semester's notes for hamster bedding. See materials not as they are, but for what they could be!
  • Know what is recyclable and where to take it. Bring electronics to e-waste centers and compost food scraps to make your own soil.
  • Avoid buying items packaged in non-recyclable thin plastic films.

 Top 10 Tips to Reduce Plastic Usage:

Did you know? Every single piece of plastic ever created still  exists, and plastic is one of the most detrimental factors that contributes to environmental degradation. Plastic never fully biodegrades, and usually takes around 500 years to break down into microplastics. Here are some tips (via Return to Now) on how to use less of this toxic stuff and help to shape a more sustainable campus, community and society.

  1. Use cloth/canvas grocery bags. Keep some reusable bags in the car so that you don't forget them when you go grocery shopping (you'll also save a few cents!)
  2. Use a metal water bottle. When you go out of the house, you'll have no need to buy water in a plastic bottle, and it will keep your water colder.
  3. Pack lunches in a reusable container. This way, you're able to avoid using single-use plastic baggies or plastic wrap. 
  4. Skip plastic produce bags. When buying produce, it's difficult not to tear off the single-use plastic produce bags so that our food doesn't touch the cart (or each other). If you bring reusable ones from home, you can avoid both of these things in a more sustainable way.
  5. Just say no to plastic cutlery and straws. Bring a metal or reusable straw and bring metal or wooden cutlery when leaving the house.
  6. Carry your own cup or mug. When grabbing a coffee from Freudian Sip, make sure you have a cup or mug with you to avoid the plastic use - especially if you buy coffee or other drinks frequently.
  7. Bring your own container when you go out to eat or get take-out. If you can't finish your meal or are getting take out, make sure to have a reusable container that the restaurant can put your food into instead of putting it in a single-use container.
  8. Use glassware for your leftovers. Instead of using tupperware or plastic baggies, store leftover food in glassware (it's easier to clean, too!)
  9. Use cloth or paper-based diapers. If you have kids, check out some alternatives for traditional diapers that are either washable or eco-friendly.
  10. Buy your shampoo and soap in bars.  Liquid soap is convenient, but the plastic usage isn't worth it. It's just as easy to use hygiene products in bars instead.

Campus Recycling 

By recycling, we are reducing the energy and raw materials needed to make brand new items like water bottles and other plastics. FS is on a continuous mission to increase the campus’s recycling diversion rate. CI has exceeded our original goal of 60% recycling diversion with a current rate of 63%. Due to our successes, we have now raised the bar to a 70% recycling diversion goal.

In the Fall of 2012, new waste bins were installed throughout campus with specific compartments for landfill and recyclable items. In January 2013, labels specifying "recycle" and "landfill" were placed on the bins, along with a sign reading "paper - glass - plastic - cans" above the recycle label to help guide the CI community in the recycling process. Signage on these bins will continue to be updated through student projects.

Plans for Future Waste Management Success 

Behavioral modification toward achieving waste management goals is essential to increase our diversion rate. Modifying our current consumption patterns to mitigate high waste production starts with educating the campus community about what to recycle. The recently launched recycling campaign will consist of various communication efforts and outreach programs that build upon existing practices. This campaign will target the CI community through the use of social media outlets, posters, signage and presentations. The following will be performed:

  • Updating our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and GreenScreens with the most up-to-date information on waste management and opportunities to get involved.
  • Monitoring our waste diversion by keeping track of monthly waste production and recycling rates.