The results are in from our waste audit conducted on St. Patrick’s day. We analyzed about a dozen bags of garbage from randomly selected locations in the quads, dining hall, campus center, library and podium.
See the picture of the brave crew at left.
Overall we found that 50% of what was in the garbage was actually garbage, 22% was food waste, 17% was plastic, glass and/or aluminum recyclables, and 7% was paper recycling.
The offices had the most true waste in their garbage at 80%, followed by the campus center at 74%, dorms at 50% and dining halls at 34%.
The dorms had the highest amount of recyclables in the mix with 36% of their waste consisting of recyclables, followed by 20% recyclables in the dining hall, campus center and office waste. The dining hall waste also contained the highest amount of food waste at 37%.One bright spot was that we did not find any hazardous waste or papers with highly personal and/or confidential information on it.
The audit helped us to increase awareness about the composition of our garbage and how much room we have for improvement! We hope to make this an annual event and that it will also create incentive for students, faculty and staff will not only think twice about what they put in the garbage but will help to educate and encourage everyone in our campus community to be better recyclers.