UCLA Dining Services and Catering are working to reduce waste through a comprehensive, large scale composting and recycling program.

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Hill Waste Bins



Large Scale Composting

At all four residential restaurants—De Neve, Covel Commons, Test Kitchen at Hedrick, and FEAST at Rieber—food scraps from food preparation (e.g. egg shells, vegetable trimmings, etc.) and the post-consumer waste (food left on plates) are separated from non-compostable waste and sent to a composting facility. Although this does not take the place of food waste reduction measures, this composting program significantly reduces the amount of waste we send to landfills.

With the help of a pulper/extractor machine, all the post-consumer food waste and napkins are ground up. Water is used to clean off the plates and carry the food waste into the pulper/extractor. The pulper/extractor grinds the food up and extracts the water. The water is recycled back to carry more food into the extractor. The extracted food waste is put in a separate food waste dumpster and then picked up for composting.

As with the four Residential Restaurants, at Rendezvous pre- and post-consumer food waste is collected. In addition to the kitchen food trimmings, the post-consumer food waste is separated by the guests. All the cutlery, napkins, to-go containers, paper bags and cups served at Rendezvous are compostable. Only the straws and lids are not.  When finished eating, restaurant guests remove their lid at straw and place them in a recycle bin. All the remaining waste is placed in a compost bin.

Through this process more than 50 tons of food waste is recycled from Dining each month.

UCLA’s complete 3-month composting process:

Stage one2Stage 2- notes

Stage 2
Stage 3- notes

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Stage 3a

Stage 4- notes

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UCLA Dining Services and Catering have a recycling program, which not only reduces the amount of waste that must be buried, but also conserves natural resources and energy and reduces pollution. Each dining unit separates its trash into food waste, which is composted; cardboard, which is recycled; and landfill waste. Catering separates all glass and plastic bottles and aluminum cans from its trash and puts them in a separate recycling bin for their trash company to pick up.

Sorting Waste on the Hill

Refer to this list to know where to dispose of items properly. When items are appropriately recycled and composted, unnecessary items are kept out of the landfill and instead recycled back into the economy or land.





Recycle 1 Recycle 2
*all recycled items must be clean.


Trash 1Other items:

  • – Cosmetics
  • – Medical items
  • – Condoms
  • – Feminine hygiene products

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous2HazardousOther items:

  • – Syringes and needles must be disposed in collection boxes found in restrooms on the Hill
  • – Other e-waste like electronics, computer parts, etc. should be taken to the S.A.F.E. Center.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for recycling collection events that happen throughout the year!

How do I recycle on campus?

Campus wide, the UCLA Facilities Management Recycling Program recycles nearly 9 million pounds of materials generated annually by the entire UCLA community. Learn more about the campus recycling program and get answers to your recycling questions.

Return to On-Campus Housing: Dining Green initiatives >>