Sponsor: Cal Dining, Zero Waste Research Center
TGIF Grant: $5,386
Project Theme: Waste Reduction
Project Description: In the hopes of furthering UC Berkeley towards its goal of Zero Waste by 2020, the Bulk Bin project, a collaboration between Cal Dining, Building Sustainability at Cal and the Zero Waste Research Center, will introduce bulk food dispensers in 4 on-campus retail locations. The bulk bins offer a unique, upstream approach towards preventing and eliminating both food and packaging waste, giving students the ability to buy different food items in the quantities that they desire (by pricing by the pound) in compostable or reusable containers. The bulk bins will reduce the waste from individually plastic-packaged foods like candy, nuts and cereal and will encourage students to bring reusable containers to purchase the bulk items by giving a discount to these customers. Cal Dining has approved the implementation of the bulk bins in four locations, Cub Market (FH), Golden Bear Cafe, Bear Market (Unit 3) and Ramona’s, and is willing to take on financial responsibility for expanding the project if deemed successful.
Project Goals: The goal of this project is to reduce post-consumer landfill waste at UC Berkeley by getting rid of individually wrapped snacks in order to reach UC Berkeley’s goal of Zero Waste by 2020. They hope that in the implementation of this project, students will understand the environmental implications of their daily consumption habits and thus begin to use reusables in their daily lives outside of Cal Dining. Finally, they want to examine the financial aspects of the project by following sales reports to see what bulk items sell the best and worst, to continue improving this project so that it can be expanded all over campus.