Scripps Institution of Oceanography is committed to UC San Diego's mandate to become a zero-waste campus by 2020. Staff, students, and faculty at Scripps formed the "SIO for Sustainability" group in order to translate Scripps's world-renowned research on climate change, ocean health, and global conservation into tangible daily sustainable practices on our campus. Simple changes to our daily routines can add up to a significant impact and make Scripps a leader in conservation as well as ocean, earth, and atmospheric research.
Please read below for information on waste collection (recycling, compost, special items), zero-waste projects, upcoming sustainability events, and ways to get involved.
September 2019: Coastal Cleanup Day
Sarah Morgan Sickler (Birch Aquarium) and Allyson Long (Scripps Oceanography) pose with the trash 'mascot' they compiled from beach cleanup trash
On Saturday, Sep. 21, sustainability leaders from Scripps led 100 volunteers in a cleanup sweep of the beach around the Scripps Pier and Scripps campus. The group collected a total of 79.5 pounds of trash and 11.5 pounds of recycling! Some of the most common items were plastic utensils and plastic fibers. Identifying the most common types of trash in addition to the total amount collected can help us determine where that plastic is coming from and how we can more specifically target our land-based practices to reduce waste at the source BEFORE it ends up in our beaches and oceans!
Waste Collection Programs
Five-gallon buckets are located in most building kitchenettes and common spaces (see bin locations map).
- ALL food
- Napkins and paper towels
- Compostable containers and utensils
GENERAL: Blue bins are located in every building for recyclable items.
SPECIAL ITEMS (see map of locations):
Writing instruments - ballpoint pens, highlighters, whiteout pens, markers
E-waste - Small items can be dropped off with Allyson Long in the Scripps Admin building. Collection bins for larger items are available in several buildings on a bi-monthly schedule.
Note: Coffee cups, No. 6 plastic ‘to-go’ boxes, and food-contaminated recyclables, are NOT recyclable. See the full list of non-recyclable items.
Although UC San Diego is a smoke-free campus, cigarette butts still make their way to Scripps. Our top goal is to keep butts from going into the ocean. Please use our butt disposal containers (see map of collection locations).
Campus recycling guide (PDF)
Water Bottle Refill Stations
Water bottle refill stations are available in the following locations:
- Birch Aquarium (next to Gift Shop)
- Deep Sea Drilling West (next to restrooms)
- Eckart 2nd floor (next to restrooms)
- Hubbs Hall (1st floor, adjacent to elevator)
- Hydraulics Lab (next to restroom)
- New Scripps Admin building (lobby)
- Nierenberg Hall (3rd floor hallway)
- Riiter Hall (1st floor, adjacent to elevator)
- Sverdrup Hall (1st floor, west side)
- Vaughan Hall (2nd floor, east side)
IT IS ESSENTIAL to follow COMPOSTING and RECYCLING GUIDELINES. If non-compostable items contaminate the compost, the program will be fined or terminated.
Compost bins are emptied 1-2 times per week into green 32-gallon collection bins located in the Ritter Hall Service Yard.
SIO for Sustainability currently maintains the program via a volunteer network. Our ultimate goal is to integrate composting into the overall Scripps waste collection system.
As part of UC San Diego's goal of zero waste by 2020, we are working to reduce single-use disposables at Scripps meetings and events. We recognize the challenges of catering to large numbers of people without using disposable products, but we have several options help you reduce your disposable footprint when you host events. Contact Allyson Long (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Laura Lilly (email@example.com) to arrange any of the following:
REUSABLE DISHWARE SET
- Dishware and mug-share set available for check-out (meetings up to 20 people. 48 hour notice required to reserve)
- Compost/recycling bins and signs for food events
- Reusable champagne glasses at Surfside
- Dishware set for larger meetings
- Dishwasher available to Scripps community for post-meeting clean-up
- Sustainable catering options
Green Labs Certification
UC San Diego's Green Labs program helps laboratories reduce their environmental footprint without compromising research or safety. This program was formed in 2013 to engage laboratory faculty, staff, and students in performing assessments, reducing waste and improving recycling, replacing inefficient equipment, and transitioning to more sustainable practices.
UC San Diego has joined the California Climate Action Registry and is committed to reaching carbon neutrality. Please consider becoming Green Certified through the Green Office and Green Labs programs. Both certifications only require a brief initial online survey to get started.
Congratulations on the following Scripps certifications!
- Scripps Director's Office
- Jensen Lab
- Bowman Lab
- CA Sea Grant Office
- Flick/Carter Lab
- Gerwick Lab
- Moore Lab
- Scripps Department
- Birch Aquarium Administration Office
- Choy Lab
- Human Resources
- Scripps Human Resources
- SIO Pelagic Invertebrate Collection
- Bartlett Lab
- Birch Aquarium Education Office, Exhibits Office, and Gift Shop
- Deheyn Lab
- Fenical Lab
- Hastings Lab
- Hildebrand Lab
- J. Smith Lab
- Ohman Lab
- Vernet Lab
- Birch Aquarium Visitor Services
- Norris Lab
- Scripps Geological Collections
Upcoming Sustainability Events
Join the SIO for Sustainability listserv ('sio-sustainability-g', https://groups.google.com/a/ucsd.edu/forum/#!forum/sio-sustainability-g) to stay up-to-date on sustainability activities and ways to help out.
Sustainability Media – UCSD and beyond
- "Walk the Talk" video about sustainability at Scripps - by Lori Mendez and Hillary Eggers, Scripps Institution of Oceanography MAS MBC Program 2018
- "Bending the Curve on Climate Change" - by UCSD Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan
- "Sustainability and Science" - published by Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Marine Plastic Pollution Blog