Zero Waste Research Center

Zero Waste Research Center

The Zero Waste Research Center (ZWRC) at the Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) actualizes innovative zero waste programs and educational initiatives toward a closed loop system at UC Berkeley. The ZWRC supports student-led collaborative projects, researches environmental and social impacts of waste, and engages with the wider community about waste solutions.

The Zero Waste Research Center strives to create a cradle-to-cradle campus waste management system and support UC Berkeley’s Zero Waste by 2020 & Beyond goals. Active projects include 3D printer filament recycling, plastic recycling research facility, vermicomposting, e-waste recycling, and greening the Student Union. 

The ZWRC was founded in 2012 by Campus Recycling and Refuse Services (now known as Cal Zero Waste) and The Green Initiative Fund, when CRRS Staff Assistants Kimberly Lam and Claire Porter won a $19,000 TGIF Grant. The goal of the ZWRC was to develop a team of undergraduate students who would focus on upstream strategies towards waste diversion,  researching preventative and creative solutions on reducing waste at UC Berkeley. Since then, more than 20 students have served as ZWRC staff, conducting research and leading a variety of waste reduction projects. Over 80 SERC members have volunteered to assist with these projects since Fall 2018.

Today, the Zero Waste Research Center is focusing their efforts  on:

Other projects include:

 If you are interested in getting involved with the ZWRC, please check out the SERC Membership Program or contact

2015 Summary Report


Reuse, recycle, refill: writing the future with green pens

A worldwide first: Berkeley steps up to the plastic-waste challenge

Zero waste? Bin there, doing that

How Berkeley Students are Fighting 3D Printer Waste

As 3D Printing Grows, so does the need to Reclaim Waste