Waste-Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP)

Funded by Associated Students

About Us


The Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California strives to encourage alternative perspectives on resource consumption and to provide a means for landfill substitution in our campus community. The five departments of WRRAP; Compost, Education, R.O.S.E. (Reusable Office Supply Exchange), Take Back The Tap, and Zero-Waste; offer a diverse student outlet for hands-on learning experiences that helps students take responsibility for the campus’s waste flow and make a positive contribution to the quality of our campus environment.

WRRAP aims to bridge awareness and action through all of its programs:

  1. The Compost department offers a Compost Demonstration Site and educational workshops, as well as the collection and processing of our campus’s compost.

  2. The Education department engages in workshops and events designed to raise awareness throughout the student body and promote involvement in WRRAP programming.

  3. ROSE provides a space for the donation of reusable materials on campus, and tracks the amount of these materials that have been repurposed free of charge rather than sent to a landfill.

  4. Take Back the Tap promotes the elimination of bottled water on campus by providing reusable water bottles and Hydration Stations offering a place to fill these bottles with clean, filtered, and great-tasting tap water, as well as offering students a Bottle-Free Commencement.

  5. The Zero-Waste Event department assists the campus community in putting on events that generate minimal to zero-waste, by providing educational guidance, compost buckets, and reusable dishware.

Through all these programs, WRRAP’s mission remains a focused commitment to the landscape of environmentally aware action that Humboldt State University is known for.




The Campus Recycling Program (CRP) was started in the Fall semester of '87. Initially based off-campus and run entirely by volunteer staff, CRP received Associated Students program status and funding in the Fall of '89. At this time, CRP relocated to Warren House 53, its current location. Using a 1956 Chevy truck purchased with revenue from recycling cans, CRP began diverting HSU’s waste from the landfill. The first year, with virtually no experience in maintaining a collection service, students created the program from scratch. Volunteers built drop-off bins from discarded plywood and hand sorted each can and bottle into separate barrels. By the end of that year, they collected 8,142 pounds of material.


Since then, CRP continued to grow and innovate using the creative and powerful force of its student members. Today, CRP has developed into a multi-faceted program now known as the Waste Reduction and Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) that officially took its place on campus in Spring 2010. We continue to divert HSU’s waste from the landfill with the popular Reusable Office Supply Exchange (R.O.S.E.), zero-waste and Take Back the Tap events, maintaining a compost diversion program and actively educating the campus community on waste reduction. Although the majority of recycling operations are now part of Facilities Management, WRRAP still collects compost from core locations across campus.

WRRAP’s physical operation is complemented by a comprehensive Education Branch. Our various branches actively work to bring awareness and understanding of resource conservation both on campus and in the community, and are part of a dynamic network of organizations working towards common goals. By hosting guest speakers, organizing composting workshops, Zero Waste events, and Take Back the Tap events, tabling in the quad, performing educational outreach presentations, designing interpretative displays, and making personal contact with the campus community, WRRAP’s Education Branch engages the campus community so that we can learn more about, and create positive change in, the impacts of our resource consumption and waste generation, both individually and collectively.


As an organization, we look with pride to the several commendations we have received from the recycling industry.

  1. Humboldt County Waste Reduction Awards, "Most Effective Composting Activity"

  2. California Resource Recovery Association Public Education Award

  3. Cooperative Community Foundation grants for excellent community contribution.

  4. Reported in nation-wide industry journals including Bio-Cycle, EPA News and Resource Recycling

  5. Recognized by then State Senator Mike Thompson, Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the City of Arcata

Because of this recognition, we receive requests for information and advice from other university recycling programs around the world.

Due to the innovative nature of WRRAP program, HSU was chosen by the California Integrated Waste Management Board in 1992 to be one of three model campus recycling programs for the CSU and UC systems.  

Of the three model programs, HSU was judged to be the most in-depth and extensive. Even more, though AB939, the Integrated Waste Management Act that mandated every city in California reduce its waste 50% by the year 2000 excluded state institutions, HSU voluntarily set the same goal of 50% waste reduction, at the urging of WRRAP. We are proud to say we reached the goal of 50% waste reduction in 1996. Since then, new legislation (AB75) has extended the same diversion mandates to state agencies.

We expect this success to continue with the program’s mission.