CSSC Zero Waste Mini-Grant Program

In partnership with World Centric, the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) will be providing mini-grants to selected campus projects in spring 2015 to develop and/or scale student-generated zero waste solutions.


We seek to invest in students creating zero waste campaigns and programs that innovatively address and solve for waste management challenges on their campuses. Our goal is to provide students training and education in developing a successful project or program while also assisting them in successfully applying for a mini-grant. From ideation to implementation, the zero waste mini-grant program is designed to ensure young leaders have the skills and resources to realize their vision for a sustainable campus community.

Projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Recycled art installations
  • Upcycled textile programs
  • Alternative waste management systems
  • Composting and sustainable dining ware sourcing
  • Greywater systems
  • Sustainable food harvesting and gleaning.

Students are encouraged to partner with campus and community partners to partially or fully fund new or existing projects and programs.

We will be awarding grants of up to $1,000 for projects with terms starting January 1st and completing June 30th, 2015. Short-term and long-term projects/programs are accepted as long as they have measurable goals that track progress.


Why Zero Waste?

According to Zero Waste International Alliance, zero waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.

Zero Waste has become a part of the national conversation stimulated by regional, state, and private initiatives.

  • CalRecycle has a zero waste goal, as do the counties of Santa Cruz, Del Norte, San Luis Obispo and San Diego.
  • California cities voting for zero waste include: San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto. Austin, San Antonio, New York City, and Seattle are also leaders.
  • San Francisco makes an interesting case study with partner Recology, an employee-owned and locally based waste management company. It is vying to become the first zero waste city in the U.S., with a goal of 2020!


Application Process

CSSC is seeking applications for the spring term starting January 1st and ending June 30th, 2015. Applicants will be awarded up to $1,000 to develop and/or scale their zero waste solution campaign, project, or program.

We are looking for applications that exhibit the following:

  • An innovative approach to designing and implementing zero waste solutions.
  • A project vision that shows plans for the institutionalization of the solution.
  • A timeline that accurately captures the project’s short term objectives and long term goals.
  • A budget that adequately details the project’s needs.
  • Quantifiable and qualifiable metrics that measure progress.
  • Stakeholder support from faculty, administration, on campus and off campus communities if applicable.

To submit an application, please send the following to Zen Trenholm at zen@sustainabilitycoalition.org by January 16th, 2015

  • Campus name, project name, and key project leader(s) contact information
  • Project/program vision including strategies for institutionalization and implementation steps
  • A line-item budget
  • Timeline
  • Description of team and short paragraph on community stakeholders
  • Short term and long term objectives and goals as quantifiable and qualifiable metrics for project evaluation



Monday, November 18th

  • Request for Proposal (RFP) Applications and Criteria Open Online on CSSC website

Mid- December

  • Informational Webinar:
  • Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone on Mon, January 26th at 3:30 PM PST

Info Session for the CSSC Zero Waste Mini-grant Program
Mon, Jan 26, 6:30 PM EST

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States

(Long distance):
+1 (773) 945-1032

Access Code: 751-498-285

More phone numbers: https://global.gotomeeting.com/751498285/numbersdisplay.html

        • 1-1 calls will be scheduled as requested to provide applicants detailed information and assist with project strategy development

Friday, January 16th

        • Applications Close

Early February

        • The Grants Advisory Committee notifies grant applicants of decision
        • Grants will dispersed by mid- February


        • Mid-term review report will be required for chosen applicants.

Tuesday, June 30th

        • Deadline for Final Review report to quantify and qualify project completion, and if applicable, its continuation.



If you have any questions about the program, please contact Jaime Gonzalez: gonzalezajaime@gmail.com 

One Comment

  1. To Whom It May Concern:
    My name is Catherine Fox; I work for CalRecycle. We recently noticed that your website, http://www.sustainabilitycoalition.org/cssc-zero-waste-mini-grant-program/, still lists our agency as “The California Integrated Waste Management Board.” Our Agency was consolidated in 2010 and we are now officially the Department of Resource Recycle and Recovery, or you may refer to us as CalRecycle for short.
    Our updated website is http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov.
    If you have questions or if I can be of further assistance, please let me know.
    Thank you.

    Catherine Fox
    Local Assistance & Market Development Branch – South Section
    Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
    2929 East Willow Street | Long Beach, CA 90806
    Tel: 562-981-8473 | Fax: 916-319-7469 | e-Mail: catherine.fox@calrecycle.ca.gov

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