The Refuse & Recycling Research Center (R3C) focuses on exploring the waste management actions necessary to make UCSB a zero waste institution by 2020. R3C is comprised of student-researchers under the supervision and guidance of UCSB’s Refuse & Recycling Manager and on occasion, select UCSB faculty.

Refuse & Recycling Research Center logo

The overarching purpose of the R3C is to provide recommendations to UCSB on how to target upstream materials and improve the University’s waste diversion rate, while striving to locally manage materials in an environmentally friendly manner. To achieve this purpose, R3C student researchers will meet the following objectives:

  • Examine UCSB’s current on-campus waste management infrastructure for areas of improvement.
  • Identify sources of waste at UCSB where source reduction practices can be introduced.
  • Conduct on-campus behavioral analyses towards waste disposal.
  • Explore cost-effective programs, practices, and technologies for improving waste management at UCSB.
  • Investigate regional waste disposal options.
  • Collaborate with local, state, and national entities in regards waste management BMPs.

Research topics are prioritized based upon the current waste management needs of the UCSB Community. R3C is open to waste-related research suggestions from the UCSB Community.

  • “Mid-scale Anaerobic Digestion/ In-vessel Composting at UCSB"
  • “Is UCSB onboard with on-board waste hauling scales?”
  • “UC Zero Waste Best Management Practices Guide”
  • “#MyLastTrash at UCSB”

Current Student Researchers

Update coming soon!


Lauren Menzer – A double-major candidate in Environmental Studies and Political Science, Lauren looks to graduate from UCSB in 2015. Her involvement and interest includes increasing sustainable awareness across UCSB as Co-Chair of the Zero Waste Committee, Outreach Staff for AS Recycling, a member of the Change Agent Waste Team, and an assistant for the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference. She enjoys hand-making gifts for others and learning about sustainable agriculture. She aspires to join the Peace Corps and work in the environmental sector, furthering conservation and sustainable practices.

  • Time served: Fall Quarter 2013 - Present
  • Research topics: Behavioral Economics of Waste Management, Front-End Loader Scales Management

Izzy Parnell-Wolfe - Izzy is a Global Studies major and will graduate from UCSB in 2014. She is interested in waste management, specifically the sustainable practices of composting, which she hopes to investigate more as a R3C student-researcher. While she is not set on a definite career path, she would like to work in the field of environmental education, since it combines both youth and the environment. When not composting, Izzy can be found running, hiking, or snapping photos.

  • Time served: Fall Quarter 2013 - Spring Quarter 2014
  • Research topics: Behavioral Economics of Waste Management

Erin Gall – “Erin was the inaugural student researcher of the R3C. She graduated from UCSB in the spring of 2013 with a B.A. of Environmental Studies. Her personal and career interests include the outdoors, and local and sustainable food science.

  • Time served: Winter Quarter 2013 - Summer Quarter 2013
  • Research Topics: On-campus in-vessel composting at UCSB; Introducing front-end loader scales at UCSB


UCSB’s The Green Initiative Fund (2013 – 2014)
The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) at UCSB award the R3C $7,348.00 in internship funding and program material support. TGIF is an on-campus grant funded by a quarterly student lock-in fee to create and support programs which green the UCSB campus and reduce the University’s overall impact on the environment.

Chancellor’s Sustainability Internship Program (2012 – 2013)
The Refuse & Recycling Research Center was identified as a 2012 – 2013 Chancellor’s Sustainability Internship (CSI) program at UCSB. The CSI identifies capstone programs available to undergraduate students who seek to advance sustainability goals on-campus or in the local community. R3C received $4,000 in funding to support our on-going research. Special thanks to the CSI program sponsor, the William E. Weiss Foundation!

Contact R3C


Direct Line: (805) 893-5151

Mailing Address:
Refuse & Recycling Research Center
Facilities Management, Bldg #437, Rm. 171E
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-1030