The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is committed to reducing resource waste and pollution through waste management programs and effective communication.. UCSB has been implementing waste reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, and repurposing programs and practices for the past five decades. With the new County ReSource Center, recyclables and organics are separated from trash, and organics are transformed into compost and energy that powers up to 3,000 homes per year. With this new facility additional waste from our trash is diverted from the landfill while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling and composting on campus is still encouraged as the preferred alternative. 

Compost and Recycling Bins

Single Use Plastics Policy

The UC campuses are phasing out single-use plastics as part of our waste reduction efforts. The UC Policy on Sustainable Practices requires each UC to transition away from plastic bags in retail and dining locations and eliminate single-use plastic foodservice items and beverage bottles. 

Check out this guide for students to see some preferred and acceptable alternatives to common plastic items!

two student workers collecting food for recovery

SB 1383

UCSB is working towards compliance with SB 1383 which requires Non-local entities that generate food waste to donate edible food to local food recovery services and organizations.

Pop Up Shrift Shop

Source Reduction  

UCSB is committed to reducing resource use by implementing sustainable procurement and use practices, such as restricting the use of virgin paper, expanded polystyrene (EPS), single-use plastics, and setting procurement guidelines for printer furniture, and equipment that reduce life cycle impacts. 


pounds of food donated

During the 2023 Give Day Sale 1,456 pounds (0.728 tons) of food donated to the UCSB Associated Students Food Bank



pounds of waste 

about 540 lbs of waste is generated per person each year at UCSB



Each year UC Santa Barbara diverts about 65% of its waste stream from the landfill through recycling and composting.