This story is from UCLA Today, a discontinued print and web publication.

Discover how you can be green to the extreme


You'll be soon seeing more environmentally friendly options at campus events — up to half a dozen different bins for recycling and stashing trash.

Staff Assembly volunteer Gena Perrine, business manager for University Communications, helped staff members at the last All-Staff Picnic sort their trash. About 80% of the trash generated at the event was successfully diverted from the landfill.

Right now, event organizers are just missing one thing — a few green helping hands. Faced with an array of bins, people can easily feel overwhelmed and toss their trash in the wrong place. So the UCLA Events Office is calling for volunteers, willing to be green to the extreme, to help guide event-goers to the right recycling or trash bin. Truly irretrievable trash goes into the landfill bins, while food waste and veggie-starch flatware go into compost bins. Aluminum cans and glass or plastic bottles go in yet another container, but other plastic gets its own separate container. Mixed paper and white paper bins round out the bunch, although the number and type of bins will depend on what kind of trash the event is expected to generate.

Volunteers are needed ASAP for Parents' Weekend (Oct. 17-19), but are also needed long-term. Those who practice at a few smaller events will qualify to help at big ones like the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, Spring Sing and the Jazz Reggae Festival. Shifts last about an hour and a half after which volunteers can enjoy the food and entertainment at the event for free.

To volunteer or for more information, would-be recycling helpers should contact Rachel Iker, a manager in the Events Office, at To sign up for the Event Sustainability Volunteer Program, include your name, phone number and affiliation with UCLA in the e-mail. Anyone with a BruinCard is eligible. Volunteers will go to a 15 minute general orientation session and get brief refresher training before each event.

A successful trial run at last summer's All-Staff Picnic diverted an estimated 80 percent or more of the waste that typically ends up in landfills, according to the Events Office.

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