UC Berkeley zero waste goal by 2020

(KTSF by Jessie Liang)

The school is just like a busy community with many people and activities. It’s easy to create large amounts of waste. UC Berkeley campus recycling and reuse manager Lin Tien King is hoping to help school to accomplish the zero waste goal by 2020.


Taiwan immigrant Lin Tien King has been working with Campus Recycling and Reuse Department since last year. King says although the campus has already had recycling programs , the outreach is not enough. To increase the diversion rates, he created the campus’s first comprehensive recycling program which educates students on recycling by color bins and signs. King says, “It would help them to easily figure out different bins, landfill, recycle, and compost.”

According to King, the campus had 6,800 tons waste going to the landfill in 2008-2009, recycling and composting 3,700 tons. UC Berkeley plans to reach 75% diversion by June 2012, zero waste by 2020.

To help accomplish the goal, King has been doing outreach around the campus including the Simpson Performance center, the new facility for athletes which will be in use this fall, and would become a model of 3 R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. UC Berkeley assistant athletic director for facilities Mike Huff says, “I think we have a responsibility to not only our student athletes but to the community at large to do the right thing.”

UC Berkeley student Jessica Cheng says that she has seen the effort that the school made in the past three years, and she also is one of the volunteers helping to do the outreach. “Being at Berkeley, where we’re a school with a lot of history of like being environmental friendly. It’s really good to see that school is actually working toward its goal of zero waste,” Cheng said.

King added that one of graduates from the UC Berkeley business school works for Google now and has also shared the campus’ waste reduction idea with Google. King says, “The habit is critical. If you’re used to it, no matter where you are, you would know how to do it right. If you have no such habit, no matter how you’ve been trained, you may still do it wrong.”

King says that landfill disposal would cost $71 per ton but recycling one ton of paper would earn $80. Therefore, more diversion would get more money for the school.

(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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