Sorting through our trash may seem to be a dirty job, but it is essential to understanding what types of waste are ending up where.
Having public waste audits draws attention to this topic on campus. We have preformed several waste audits starting in 2006 in an effort to understand what matierals were being thrown away. Our most recent audit showed that our "clear bag" system of recycling operating well with 80% of matierals recycling, actually being recyclable.
Students in a waste and matierals class helped conduct the audit. They contacted Grounds to get the bags of trash delivered to a central location on campus. Then volunteers from the Environmenatl Science Club and SGA helped sort through bags of trash and recycling. Once the matierals were sorted and categorized, they were weighed to see what percentage of the waste they made up.
MISTAKES & LESSONS LEARNED
Our data from the most recent audit was not filed the same way as audits in years past so it makes comparisons difficult. Also, there could have been better communication with Grounds on the desired locations to pull trash from.
Conducting future audits will hopefully show us what is and is not working with our recycling program.