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Using Your Office Recycling Container and Bin Buddy

Bin Buddy

Facilities Management is transitioning all office trash containers to an unlined Bin Buddy, a miniature trash container that attaches inside or outside of a blue recycling bin.

Most offices have a lined trash bin and a smaller recycling bin. In January, custodians began replacing all office trash bins with Bin Buddies, working west to east by college across the main campus. Facilities Management expects to complete the conversion by mid-2019. Facilities Management will reuse old trash bins wherever possible on campus or recycle them.

The campus is switching to Bin Buddies because:

  • Every UC campus, including ours, has a goal of achieving zero waste (diverting at least 90% of items from landfill or incineration) by 2020.
  • The Bin Buddy size represents how much of what you throw away is trash. Most office waste is recyclable. When you recycle properly and reuse items, like coffee mugs and refillable water bottles, the Bin Buddy is large enough for your non-recyclable waste items.
  • Eliminating trash liners saves resources and money.
  • Many organizations have implemented mini-bin programs, resulting in increased recycling and reduced waste and waste management costs.
    • UC Berkeley, Tufts University, Dartmouth College and many others use Bin Buddies.
    • A 2014 study of 34 offices across the United States found that mini-bins reduced the amount of recyclables in the trash by 16%, increased the amount of recyclables collected by 20%, and nearly eliminated office paper from the waste stream.

How It Works

  • Put paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, glass, plastics #1-7, and hard Styrofoam in your blue bin for recycling.
  • Put napkins, tissues, paper towels, food waste (unless you have access to composting), non-rigid plastic (like plastic bags, plastic wraps), and foil wrappers (e.g., candy and granola bar wrappers, chip and cookie bags, etc.) in the trash.
  • Dispose of messy food waste in a lined kitchen or common area trash bin. If you are composting food waste in a central kitchen trash container, only throw away dry items.
  • Custodians will continue to empty office recycling and Bin Buddy trash bins once a week.
  • If your Bin Buddy fills before your weekly trash removal, take trash to a nearby kitchen, break or conference room where custodians empty trash daily.

More Information

Learn more about UC San Diego’s zero waste goals and how you can help.