Civic Fellows

Zero Waste Mason Civic Fellows 

Mason aims to improve its waste diversion rate by advancing waste reduction strategies and promoting a zero waste culture across the university.  

Currently, Mason diverts 21% of campus waste away from trash incineration through reuse, composting, and recycling. However, a significant portion of our waste is still processed as trash and transported to Covanta Fairfax’s waste-to-energy incinerator in Lorton, VA. We know that waste incineration releases harmful emissions that negatively impact the health of local communities surrounding incineration facilities through increased pollution. Recognizing the environmental and social impacts of waste incineration, Mason must pivot to reuse and waste reduction, while keeping all recyclable and compostable materials out of the trash! 

Through a partnership with the Office of Community Engagement and Civic Learning’s Civic Fellows program, the Zero Waste Mason Civic Fellows collaborate with University Sustainability to engage our campus community in Mason’s zero waste goal.  

The Zero Waste Mason Civic Fellows advance a Plastics Free Mason campus culture, support community-based zero waste initiatives like Patriot Packout, and collaborate with campus stakeholders to institutionalize zero waste action at Mason. 

Meet the Zero Waste Mason Fellows 

Lakshita Dey is a senior majoring in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration in Climate Change in Society and minoring in Global Affairs. She is a Civic Fellow with CECiL and has worked on the Plastics Free Mason initiative for a year. In addition to working under University Sustainability, she is heavily involved in student organizing to green George Mason University’s campuses. She is the current president of Alpha Kappa Chi, the environmental fraternity, and has interned for the Greenhouse and Gardens Program to reduce food insecurity on campus.


Zachary Kim is an Honors College freshman majoring in Business. He joined the University Sustainability office as a Zero Waste Mason Civic Fellow in fall 2023 through a partnership with CECiL. Zachary works to advance both Plastic Free Mason, engage our campus community in zero waste resources, and support other zero waste initiatives like Mason’s annual Patriot Packout initiative.



 Current Projects and Initiatives  

Reach out to the Zero Waste Mason Civic Fellows

Partnerships and Collaborations  

Zero Waste Mason Resources  

There are many ways to support and get involved in zero waste efforts on campus!  

Depending on your individual context, you can get involved by participating in the actions below: