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Zero Waste

zero waste goal


Achieve Zero Waste by 2025


We currently are diverting 75% of our waste from the landfill to either get recycled or composted 


Refer to the Sustainability Master Plan for Detailed Strategies About Zero Waste

  • What CSUSM Recycles


    PLASTICS 1-7

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


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


    • Bottles 
    • Jars


    • 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

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

    CSUSM has operated a pre-consumer compost collection service for many years. We collect coffee grounds and other pre-consumer waste (such as vegetable trimmings from Dining Services) for composting on campus. During 2017 regular semester periods we average 3,700 lbs of material (monthly). In the summer and during winter break when the campus population is significantly lower, we collected an average of 1,300 lbs of material (monthly).

    Currently, service is not available for post-consumer compost processing, so we are doing all we can right now. We hope services for a fully operational organic composting program to be available in 2019.

  • 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 know by calling 760-750-4502 or you can email

    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 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
  • Printer Cartridges

    CSUSM recycles used inkjet and laser jet printer cartridges.

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

  • 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. 

  • 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

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