Integrated Plastics Recycling and Research Facility at UC Berkeley

Scott Silva Presenter
Zero Waste Research Center Lead
Student Environmental Resource Center at UC Berkeley
Jenny Chiu Co-Presenter
Zero Waste Research Associate / Student
University of California, Berkeley
Sharon Daraphonhdeth Co-Presenter
Director, Student Environmental Resource Center
University of California, Berkeley
Wed, 10/3: 2:30 PM  - 4:30 PM 
Room: Posters 



The Zero Waste Research Center at UC Berkeley is working to create the first Plastics Recycling Facility at UC Berkeley. This facility, located at the Global Bay Campus in Richmond, will process the University's plastic and recycling waste through proper collection, sorting, and redistribution. This project will allow for the University of California, Berkeley to expand recycling and reuse programs, reduce its carbon footprint, and create research and education opportunities for its students and the community of Richmond. We are working to incorporate 3-D printing into the project by reprocessing our plastic waste into 3-D printing filament. This project will be one of the first of its kind, and will greatly improve recycling efforts on university-wide and local levels. We will present visual examples of the materials recovery process, and will have hand on activities and discussions on waste management operations within other universities attending the workshop for the latter half of the presentation.

This presentation will result in campus-specific upstream and downstream solutions to plastic waste on campus. Also, we will showcase how to find specific solutions to providing a circular economy for common waste items by recording diversion rates and finding particular business partners to take plastic waste. We will present local, non-chemically intensive methods for processing plastic waste to be used in the creation of consumer end products that have worked for the UC Berkeley campus. We will identify partnering businesses on a local level who may be interested in taking this material, and processing it for them in the way they prefer in order to make the exchange as easy as possible. These downstream solutions will provide important results that could be modeled between any university and local business, and are much more efficient at establishing a circular economy.

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Intended Audience

Sustainability Staff
Undergraduate Students