About Us

Taken on August 26, 2021.

The UCSB Zero Waste Committee is a student group dedicated to reaching the UC system-wide goal of Zero Waste by the year 2020. We design and implement a variety of projects and sustainable practices that help our campus to be as zero waste as possible. In order to achieve Zero Waste by 2020, students must work together to minimize water and energy use, make more sustainable purchases, and recycle/compost as much as we possibly can. By making small changes together we can make a create a more sustainable and greener world!

Our History

In 2011, UCSB’s AS Recycling crew set out to become one of the first universities in the US to introduce compost receptacles on campus. In early 2012, a student run group called the Compost Pilot Project (CPP) was successful in making this a reality. The small group of committed CPP composters turned into the Zero Waste Committee the following Fall, with the purpose of doing campus outreach and creating projects to get UCSB to zero waste by 2020.

In June 2004 UCSB set forth a goal of becoming more zero waste by diverting waste from landfills as stated in the UC Office of the President’s Sustainable Practices Policy. UCSB met this goal of diverting 50% of its municipal solid waste from the landfill before June 2008, with a whopping 62%, and nearly obtained its goal of 75% diversion by June 2012.


Alyssa Young (She/They)


Hi everyone, I’m a 4th year student studying Communication and earning certificates in Exercise & Sports Studies. I am excited to be part of Zero Waste Committee again this year! I Love working with people who also Love the planet. It’s (fun fact) literally my middle name.

Charu Garapaty (She/Her)


Christopher Perez (He/Him)

Administrative Coordinator

David Gjerde (He/Him)


Hi! My name is David Gjerde and I’m a second year Pre Political Science and Economics major. In my free time you can catch me swimming or hanging with my friends by Sands beach. 

Tiffany Nicolescu (She/Her)

Public Outreach Coordinator

Hi! My pronouns are she/her and I’m a second year, Psychological & Brain Sciences major on the pre-pa track. I am from Marin County and I am one of the Public Outreach Coordinators for ZWC. I joined ZWC to learn more about how to have a zero waste lifestyle and spread awareness about sustainability.
Fun Fact: I used to work at Trader Joe’s and I love getting little plants when I go!

Caroline Bancroft (She/Her)

Public Outreach Coordinator

Hi! I’m Caroline, one of the Public Outreach Coordinators. I’m a third year Communication major from Los Alamitos. This is my first year on Zero Waste Committee and I’m so excited to work more with this committee to help UCSB become more zero waste. I joined Zero Waste Committee to learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle for myself, as well as to help provide students with the same resources. Some of my hobbies include reading, hiking, thrifting, and playing soccer.

Taylor Hitchan (She/Her)

Activities Coordinator

Ava Gordon (She/Her)

Activities Coordinator

Hi! My name is Ava Gordon and I am one of the Activities Coordinator for Zero Waste Committee for the 2021-2022 school year. I am a first year Statistics and Data Science major at UCSB, and am from Akron, Ohio! LeBron James is from my hometown! I am very passionate about environmental topics and preserving our Earth — some of my other passions include playing piano and softball, reading, and hiking! I look forward to a great year!

Emma Burke (She/Her)

Compost Coordinator

Hi everyone! I am a second year Environmental Studies B.S major and Spanish minor. This is my first year in the committee and my first year on campus! I am so excited to be part of the ZWC to reduce food waste and work towards more sustainable practices. I love to compost, hula dance, and swim in the ocean.

Jordan LeGrys (She/Her)

Zero Waste Festival Coordinator

Hey!! I’m Jordan LeGrys and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’m a second year Environmental Studies major. A fun fact about me is that I can sing the alphabet backwards. I’m from San Diego and I’m in Zero Waste Committee because I want to help promote a waste-conscious lifestyle. As festival coordinator, we reach out to internal and external organizations to collaborate to promote our committee’s mission to limit waste on and off our campus!

Gracie Young (She/Her)

Zero Waste Festival Coordinator

I am a 4th year Communication and Sociology major born and raised in Los Gatos, California. I’m one of the two ZWC festival coordinators 🙂 I became interested in ZWC because I grew up in an environmentally conscious household with a native plant landscaper mom and a dad who is an arborist. This is my first year in the committee, and I look forward to planning our annual event to bring people together and inspire environmental awareness in our community! A fun fact about me is my favorite snack of all time is cherry tomatoes:)

Sophie Vargas (She/Her)

Zero Waste Athletics Coordinator

Sophie is a 2nd year, Environmental Science major. Her hometown is Healdsburg, California. She is very passionate about the environment and love getting to know other students who share this common interest!

Sydney Rouse (She/Her)

Zero Waste Athletics Coordinator

Hi! My name is Sydney Rouse and I am a fourth-year Environmental Studies major here at UCSB. I am also a member of the UCSB swim team and one of ZWC’s Athletics Coordinators. ZWC is a great organization that strives to encourage and educate the community on how to live more sustainably.

Katee Gustavson (She/They)


Hello, my name is Katee Gustavson (she/they) and I am the advisor for Zero Waste Committee. When I’m not advising Zero Waste Committee, you can find me supervising A.S. Recycling. I graduated from UCSB with degrees in History of Art & Architecture and Environmental Studies, so I’m super excited to still be in this beautiful place as a career staff person. Waste management, zero waste, composting, and regenerative agriculture are all passions of mine. Feel free to reach out to me to talk about anything. The best email to reach me at is: kgustavson@ucsb.edu