Waste Management

Foundational Information

Students living on campus are aware of the resources they use on a daily basis. Residents should become aware of how resources are managed on campus from trash and recycling practices, handling of e-waste, and disposal of chemicals. Students should also become aware of alternatives to chemically based cleaners. 

Individual Impact

Students will make conscious decisions about their use of resources and make efforts to establish patterns of behavior that support ongoing and continuous resource stewardship. 

Learning Tools

Students should become aware of appropriate sustainability measures such as where and how to compost on campus, what to recycle and how to recycle everything from bottles to computers, as well as how to make household cleaners minus all the chemicals and how to dispose of those chemicals that do end up in their apartment.

Resource Stewardship “Did You Knows”

#1 Practice Safe Cleaning

  • According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, air quality inside many homes can be two to five times more polluted than the air just outside our homes.  Traditional household cleaners play a huge factor. 
  • Most basic cleaning recipes require the same basic ingredients, and they can be found in just about every grocery store.  A simple batch of glass or all-purpose cleaner costs mere pennies. It’s even cheaper when you buy the ingredients in bulk. 
  • Studies have shown that using a household cleaning spray, even as little as once a week, raises the risk of developing asthma. 
  • If you own vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and olive oil you have everything you need to clean your entire apartment! 

Recipe Ideas

Baking soda- Mix baking soda with 2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon to clean countertops, refrigerator shelves, tables, tile floors, windows, and toilets. 
Eucalyptus Oil; Combine oil with water and put in spray bottle. Can be used to dust furniture and clean surfaces.
White vinegar- A few drops of diluted vinegar can be sprinkle on glass or mirrors, stove tops, table tops.

Challenge Info #1: Appropriate recycling, composting and landfill disposal  behavior (what goes where in our dumpsters) 

Recyclable Items

Products Yes No

Paper Products 

  • White and colored paper 
  • Newspaper (including all inserts 
  • Magazines, junk mail, envelopes 
  • Office and computer paper 
  • Telephone books and manuals 
  • Cereal, shoe and tissue boxes (remove plastic liners) 
  • Small pieces of cardboard 
  • Plastic coated paper 
  • Food contaminated paper 
  • Hardcover books (Paperbacks OK) 

Milk Cartons, Juice and Soy/Rice Milk Boxes 

  • Milk cartons 
  • Juice boxes 
  • Juice concentrate cartons 
  • Frozen food packaging 
  • Liquids or food waste 
  • Straws or Pop-tops 
  • Plastic bags 

Glass Bottles and Jars 

  • Clear and colored glass 
  • Food and beverage jars 
  • Leave labels on 
  • Jar lids or caps 
  • Window or mirror glass 
  • Ceramic, dishes or stemware 

Plastic Containers 

  • All plastic containers #1-7 
  • Milk and water jugs 
  • Soda, juice, water bottles 
  • Yogurt and deli tubs 
  • Shampoo and detergent 
  • Plastic caps 
  • Plastic bags 
  • Styrofoam 

Metal Cans 

  • Aluminum cans 
  • Steel and tin cans 
  • Empty paint/aerosol cans 
  • Plastic caps 
  • Plastic bags 
  • Styrofoam 


“Did You Know” Information 

  • Sonoma State University recycles a great deal of material in addition to paper.  The familiar paper recycling bins located throughout campus are also collection locations for the following items (see graphic below)
  • In 2007, 5 pounds of garbage per person per day was recycled or composted instead of being thrown away. That number has dropped to 3.6 pounds! Source.
  • Since 2006/07, there has been a 30 percent decrease in waste disposed of in Sonoma County, from 374,000 tons to 262,500 tons. 
  • Currently, of the 262,500 tons disposed of in Sonoma County annually, approximately 66%  or two-thirds, can be classified as divertible, potentially divertible, or compostable. Source: Recycle Now
  • Small batteries that can be recycled range from standard alkaline to watch size nickel metal‐hydride batteries. Batteries generated at home can be taken to free battery recycling drop off locations listed on the Sonoma County Eco‐Desk page (recyclenow.org).    
  • Fluorescent lamps contain mercury and require proper handling and disposal to protect human health and the environment. Seawolf Services should be notified by calling 707-664-4021 when fluorescent tubes or bulbs are in need of replacement. 
  • Monitors, computers, and similar refuse items as well as toxic materials from the home can be recycled by way of several options offered at the Sonoma County Eco‐Desk page (http://www.recyclenow.org/ ).