P200: Strategic Procurement

Commodity update

Standardization program: Trash can liners

David Houghton, UCOP Facilities and MRO Commodity Manager, is leading a collaboration between UCOP, campuses, medical centers and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to implement a system-wide trash can liner and receptacle standardization program that will save money and reduce excess plastic use. While not especially glamorous, this initiative highlights the untapped opportunities available to the UC System when we work together for a common cause.

Can liners were identified by the MRO team as the members felt there was an opportunity to quickly agree on standards. The collaboration team includes campus strategic sourcing staff, clients from custodial, food service, and facilities departments, and our system-wide suppliers, CleanSource and Waxie.


The four goals of the program are to:

• Reduce the number of unique liner part numbers from 250 to ~30

• Right-size the liners to reduce the amount of plastic used by up to 25%

• Direct the majority of our liner spend to preferred suppliers, reducing our costs

• Define indoor receptacle standards so that receptacles are replaced with containers that use the standard liners


The UC system spends more than $2 million annually on can liners and is projected to save $200,000 through this initiative.


David Houghton

Facilities and MRO Commodity Manager, UC Office of the President