By Chiara Phillips

This week, we’ve really started to get involved with the graduate housing community and understand who they are and where they currently stand on waste issues. From talking one-on-one to students to surveying residents at the Weyburn ResLife Karaoke Social, residents generally seem to be aware of UCLA’s zero waste by 2020 goal and are supportive of it, yet they do not have the resources to easily compost and recycle in their communities. 

The social also helped us generate new ideas on how to improve the sustainability scene throughout graduate housing. After trying to make our first experience at a ResLife event zero waste, we noticed different problems in our signage, positioning of cans, number of receptacles, and non-recyclable/compostable catering containers. Now, we personally have the knowledge on how to make a zero-waste event more attainable for ResLife and want to provide these resources for event planners throughout graduate housing and beyond in the form of a zero waste event guide.

While we’re still waiting on a meeting with Athens, we did connect with two representatives that are excited to help pilot a compost system in the various graduate housing communities. After walking through Weyburn and both Hilgard communities, the space limitations and policy roadblocks for outdoor receptacles have shifted our goals towards providing trash, recycling, and compost bins for all rooms throughout graduate housing. Hopefully after our meeting with Athens, we will be able to make a concrete timeline in making this a reality. For the time being, we’re looking at waste system structure and signage across the UC-Campuses for inspiration in designing new signage for trash rooms and apartments for Weyburn and Hilgard.