Skip to content Skip to navigation


Reduce! Waste Reduction at UC Merced

Reducing the amount of waste produced is a key component to achieving UC Merced's goal of producing zero waste by 2020, as part of the Triple Net Zero committment. We are continuously working toward developing new sustainability solutions as well as improving our current system. Here are some of our completed and on-going projects.
Paper reduction
The default setting for office printers is double sided to help reduce paper waste. UC Merced's health center is now paperless!
Payroll Services and Student Business Services are also working to reduce our paper impact.  Through Payroll Services, staff can sign up for direct deposit, online earning statements, and electronic W-2 forms.  Through Student Business Services, students can sign up for direct deposit and can receive refund checks electronically (EFT).
Here are the UC Merced numbers as of February 2015:
  • Electronic W-2: 94.14%
  • Direct Deposit: 89.22%
  • Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for Student Refund: 72%
Hydration Stations
A faster and more convenient way to fill a water bottle. The hydration stations reduce plastic waste generated by disposable water bottles. We are the proud owners of three hydration stations and are looking to purchase more! They are located in the gym, the SAAC and near the bookstore. Check out the article that features them in the Merced Sun Star!

OZZI Initiative
A new take on to-go! UC Merced has replaced disposable to-go containers with reusables ones. Check out the UC Merced Dining Services page for more information!
Water Battle 2012
UC Merced hosted a competition betweeen the residence halls to see who could save the most water over a month! Check out the video and the campus Sustainability water page.
Restroom sustainability
We have adjusted the paper towels in the restrooms to spit out a shorter length of paper towel to help reduce waste. A few of our restrooms also feature Dyson Airblade hand dryer!
Food Events
We work with campus Facilities, clubs and organizations to help reduce food and packaging waste during events. Some of our improvements include collecting and hand sorting all disposed items, additional recepticles and large containers for condiments like creamer and ketchup (instead of individual servings).
At the Mercy Medical Gala, we diverted 93 percent of the event's waste from the landfill! 
CatTracks helps students save money and get to campus in an environmentally friendly mannner. The Bus (the Merced bus) also stops on campus to make it easier for people from UC Merced to access the city. The university also has an on-campus bike mechanic to help students repair their bikes and encourage riding to school. 
A New Waste System
We will implement a new system to reduce the waste generated from on-campus offices. The individual garbage bin in each office soon will be a bagless recycle/trash bin, and employees will be responsible for emptying their bins into larger, lined recepticles. More information to come!
Have an idea for a way to reduce waste? Contact us!