Emma Sorrell, sustainability manager for housing and hospitality services, and Josh O’Connor, assistant director, leadership and involvement, in residential life, along with the UCLA Sustainability: Housing and Hospitality Services team were honored at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference. They received the Best Practice Award for Innovative Waste Reduction for their project “A Collaborative Approach to Waste Management: Leveraging Campus Partnerships to solve Operational Challenges.”

Their project brought together housing operations and residential life to join forces and collaborate on developing more effective waste management solutions that consider the student affairs perspective, incorporate recommendations from front-line operations staff and cater to the building occupants. By leveraging student involvement, existing structures/programs in residential life, and operations team member expertise, the team received approval and funding to roll out an organic waste collection program in all residential communities. Over the course of the 12-month planning and implementation period, community engagement in waste diversion efforts improved dramatically and overall waste diversion increased by 65 percent so far this year.

Also featured at the conference, which was held in late June, was a zero-emissions, all-electric Bruin Bus that is helping UCLA move toward carbon neutrality by 2025.