150 California Street's Zero Waste practices and procedures are a continuous team effort. There are many moving parts to maintain TRUE certification and require building staff, tenants, vendors, and ownership. Ownership sets the standards of how our building operates and encourages the building to be sustainability forward. Our management office help set these standards and carry out to the building staff and vendors. Janitorial has a large role in the Zero Waste process. As management, we check in weekly with our janitorial foreman. We check in with them for the bin fullness, and tenant waste management. If janitorial sees anything in the incorrect waste stream or notice items our building do not dispose of, they will inform us. It helps as a check and balance when working with our tenants. The bin fullness check in has helped us a lot on providing insight on what bin sizes our building needs. Because of this process, in 2018 we decreased from a 1.5-yard trash bin to a 96-gallon bin and increased from 4 64-gallon composting bins to 1.5-yard. In 2019 we went from a 1.5-yard recycling compactor to a 2-yard bin. Without constant communication and interaction with our janitorial team, this would not have been possible.
Our engineering team has made a great impact with their efforts of hazardous waste. They work closely with a lighting vendor to dispose of old lightbulbs, painting vendor to dispose of old paint, and our generator vendor to dispose of lead acid batteries. Our security team has gone paperless! We used to have handwritten daily reports given to us. In 2018, security started using an application on phones that they can provide their daily reports and incident reports. Landscaping continues their efforts for minimal waste. They use plants that require minimal water and recycle the compost waste through a third-party vendor.
We work with our tenants by keeping them informed of our policies and leading by example. Without our tenants’ efforts, this certification would not be possible. They not only understand the importance of Zero Waste to the building but equally contribute their efforts to succeed. We have annual trainings to keep us on the same page. Through this process, it shows how important each part of our team is for not only getting certified but maintaining our goals. We can all take these practices of Zero Waste and use it in our personal lives. When starting my position with the building and seeing the importance of sustainability and Zero Waste, I implemented what I have learned not only in my house but my families houses too. We started using a compost bin. The small efforts in helping the community and planet makes a large difference when others are doing it as well. I believe the Zero Waste process and 150 California Street's efforts show it is possible to achieve and it is possible to make a difference.
"TRUE certification was important for 150 California Street because it not only highlights our efforts for zero waste and sustainability but it also provides guidelines on how to achieve our goals. Through the process of completing the TRUE certification, we learned more innovative ways to keep our building in line with maintaining our continuous efforts with the Zero Waste program," said Cayla Sha, Assistant Real Estate Manager.