Zero Waste program at GCC works to reduce our waste stream on campus.

Zero Waste Program

Glendale Community College is committed to reducing waste and keeping waste out of our landfills. We are "closing the loop" on the waste cycle by minimizing waste, increasing recycling, and reducing consumption of non-recyclable items.

To that end, the Zero Waste pilot program started in January 2012 as an initiative to make employees aware of ways to "close the loop." Due to its enthusiastic implementation, the program was implemented campus-wide in August 2014.

What does "Zero Waste" mean?  Zero Waste Bin

Zero Waste is a new way of looking at our waste stream.  Employees are asked to reduce daily waste by exchanging 7-gallon waste receptacles in office spaces for 7-gallon recycle bins with a 1-gallon Zero Waste bin attached.  The purpose of the small waste container is to reduce your daily waste to less than the size of the container.

Employees take responsibility for their own waste by servicing their own containers.  Employees now empty their own container contents into large waste and recycle receptacles located in common areas or just outside every building entrance.

For most office spaces, paper is the largest source of waste and all paper waste is recyclable.  The remainder of the waste stream comes from items that employees either bring from home or purchase on campus.  Reducing consumption of non-recyclable items is the final step to "close the loop" on the waste cycle.

How does Zero Waste support sustainability?


The size of the bins says it all… waste less, recycle more.  The bins are a visual reminder to reduce daily waste to less than the size of the bin and divert waste from the landfill by recycling more.


The recycle and Zero Waste bins do not have plastic liners and can be rinsed clean, if needed. With more than 750 office spaces on campus we can reduce plastic liner usage by 750 liners per day or 15,000 per month.


Custodial services are not needed for waste/recycle bins in office spaces, freeing up valuable time to service classrooms and other areas on campus.

The Zero Waste infographic contains additional information about cost-savings, waste reduction vs. waste diversion, and 2013 annual waste/recycle data.  It also includes care instructions for the Zero Waste bins.

What else can I do?

Reuse!  Refill a water bottle or coffee cup.  There are complimentary water bottle fill stations in ATC, EC, ESN, GCCN-C, FC, HT1, HT2, LMC, LS, PAC, PS, PSS, SU, T1, and VSC.  Discounted drinks are available at the Palms Café, Grounds for Thought and the Green Bean when you bring your own cup.

What Goes In the Blue Bin?
Recycle plastic in the Blue Bin. Recycle paper in the Blue Bin. Recycle metal in the Blue Bin.
ALL numbered plastics. Caps and lids should be removed and placed in the recycle bin separately.
Plastic Containers #1-#7 
water bottles, soda bottles, clear beverage cups and lids, clear clamshells (food containers), coffee cup lids, yogurt cups, margarine tubs, microwave food trays, serving platters and lids, 
milk jugs, and detergent/fabric softener bottles.
ALL types of paper in any color or finish.  Clips and staples can be left in.
Mixed Paper
printer/copy paper, cardstock, envelopes, file folders, Post-It notes, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, brochures, junk mail, paper bags, posters, telephone directories, and shredded paper (in a clear plastic bag).
broken down empty boxes; empty pizza boxes
with minimal food residue.
milk or juice cartons, cereal, cracker, or cake mix boxes (without inserts), frozen food boxes, and paper towel/toilet paper rolls

Any metal Containers; labels can be left on.

beverage cans, energy drink cans, foil, and food serving trays and lids.
soup or vegetable cans, food
storage tins, and empty aerosol cans.

Green Means Clean! Do not put these items in the recycle bins: glass, paper towels, tissues, napkins, food waste, liquids, chewing gum, chip or cookie bags, plastic bags, clear plastic wrap, bubble wrap, Styrofoam, plastic food utensils, wax-coated coffee cups, electronics, light bulbs, batteries, toner cartridges, and cell phones.

Please, no garbage in our recycle bins; it contaminates the entire bin.

See Also