During Fall 2010, an Environmental Capstone class conducted waste assessments at three campus sites: the Business School, the Law School, and the Student Union. John Allen, Emma Anderson, Carly Buch, Cori Fowler, Ellie Kuhn, and Julian March interviewed students, staff and faculty about waste behaviors in these buildings. They also collected, sorted and weighed waste from various areas within the buildings including classrooms, offices, and public areas such as libraries, dining areas, and lounges.
The results of the waste assessments showed that 20% of the materials in the trash, such as bottles, cans and paper of all types, could have been recycled in existing programs. Another finding was that 55% of the materials in the garbage in these buildings were compostable times such as food waste and wet paper.
This data will be used to target recycling programs specific to these buildings. Also, we hope to create an on-going waste assessment program to look at waste composition and behaviors for specific buildings. Customized action steps for the population of each area studied will follow. To be involved in future waste assessments and outreach, please contact OWRR at 919-962-1442 or email the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.