Students have conducted several waste audits over the past few years to assess waste in residential, academic, and dining locations.
Audits have given us a greater understanding of our waste stream and helped us to understand what to target (lack of understanding of what's recyclable, percentage of paper towels in the waste stream, etc.)
Audits are relatively easy to set up. For the residential and academic audits, we contacted our waste hauler to empty the trash and/or recycling on a specific day in a specific location. We got a team of students to help sort and weighed the different waste streams. For dining audits, students have gotten in touch with dining services staff to plan logistics.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Teach your volunteers well, and get more than you think you'll need. Make the audits visible to the larger campus if possible.
Annual audits for each dining hall, other audits as we think appropriate.