By Rachel Chung
Perhaps one of the most daunting tasks of UCLA’s “Zero Waste by 2020” plan is implementing waste diversion tactics at large-scale events on campus. Streamlining day-to-day on-campus recycling and product sales is already difficult. Large events present even more difficulties from concession sales, catering, huge numbers of people, and additional staff. Because of this, the Zero Waste Pauley Action Research Team’s goal for this coming year is to focus on how we can minimize waste specifically at Pauley Pavilion events.
To do this, we read last year’s Zero Waste Pauley ART’s report, which contained a lot of great suggestions that we could run with this year. For example, the 2013 team conducted a full waste-audit of a medium-sized sporting event held at Pauley Pavilion during the spring, and concluded that much of the waste going to landfills was derived from on-site concession sales. Consequently, they recommended that a future team (us!) carefully audit ASUCLA’s concession inventory to minimize the amount of non-recyclable or compostable products.
We proposed this idea in our first meeting with our stakeholder, Rich Mylin, Associate Director of UCLA Recreation Event and Facility Operations. We all agreed that a concessions audit would be extremely valuable to Pauley Pavilion’s Zero Waste goal. However, we realized that there is still more to be done to ensure that all types of events (such as non-athletic events) minimize their landfill waste, and that the suggestions and changes we implement during our project duration are upheld in the future.
To address the first issue, our team agreed that we should collaborate with an on-campus organization hosting an event at Pauley Pavilion during spring quarter to test and streamline waste bin labeling and sorting, and to increase student awareness about proper recycling procedure. We decided that the Pediatric AIDS Coalition’s annual Dance Marathon would be an appropriate and effective outreach event, and we plan to meet with their leadership in the coming week. To address the second issue, Rich suggested that we create a UCLA Recreation “Green Events Guideline” to ensure that future events held at Pauley and other UCLA Recreation facilities meet the requirements of UCLA’s Zero-Waste goals. We all agree that this will be a great legacy to leave behind at the end of our project, and our team cannot wait to start making progress on our goals.