Sunday, May 22, 2016


This post was written by Sustainability Office Zero Waste Team Associate Bella Montez. 

My project this year with the UCSC Sustainability Office’s Zero Waste Team was to plan the Second Annual UCSC Campus Cleanup. My first thought was “I need some help.” I gathered help from the Sustainability Office, my fellow Zero Waste Team members, some Student Sustainability advisors and some gracious volunteers I found on facebook. We formed a committee and met every week starting in the winter quarter to plan two winter cleanups and the big spring cleanup. 

For the two winter cleanups, we used the Student Sustainability Advisors home turf. We did our first  “Cleanup Hour” at College 9/10 and another at College 8/Oakes which drew in about 10-20 students for each cleanup. The two smaller cleanups were really helpful because they allowed us to understand how we could improve, expand, and plan a successful spring cleanup. 

To plan for the big cleanup, we contacted Grounds Services who helped us with waste management, Environmental Health and Safety who gave us helpful tips on how to keep everyone safe, and Save our Shores who donated buckets and grabbers that made the cleanup possible. In total, we were able to recruit 155 volunteers from all the colleges on campus through facebook and flyering in dorms & at bus stops. 

On May 1, 2016, the Campus Cleanup Committee gathered supplies and brought them to Quarry Plaza at around 9:30AM. At 10AM, volunteers began to gather at the Quarry plaza for bagels, fruit, and other snacks, and everyone was given a t-shirt with the Campus Cleanup logo. At around 10:30AM, I thanked our sponsors and introduced our volunteers to the crowd. We then split everyone into cleanup crews and dispersed to various locations around campus! By the end of the day, we collected 255 pounds of trash including 5.6 pounds of cigarettes. The trash, recyclables and compost were all sorted to the correct bins and the cigarettes were sent to TerraCycle to be made into recycled products. It was a huge success and everyone left with a cookie from the Pacific Cookie Company in their hands, feeling very tired but accomplished! Overall, it was so amazing to see how much spirit people had to keep our campus beautiful. 

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