What did we find? A lot of food waste—about 46% was compostable. 25% of the materials could be recycled in the current recycling programs in the building. Of the currently recyclable items, mixed paper was most commonly thrown in the trash. We also found 1.6 pounds of reusable office supplies, such as staplers, pens, and rulers.
On April 13, OWRR performed a waste audit on Peabody Hall. Six bags of classroom, break room and hallway trash were sorted and weighed to see what materials are in the waste stream.
So, what’s in our trash? Only 17% of materials thrown away were “true trash.” About 46% of the materials could have been recycled through the current indoor recycling program. This demonstrates that there is enormous potential for growth for recyclable material on campus, just by putting it in the bin! Bottle-shaped plastics and mixed paper made up the majority of this category.
Compostables, including food waste, bio-plastics and food-soiled paper products accounted for 33% of the waste. These are not accepted through our current program, but provide a picture of where growth is possible.
OWRR has plans to continue waste audits on a building- by-building basis. If you are interested in having your trash analyzed, please let us know!
Thanks to Anna Langley and Chelsea Woodfin for volunteering and Ashley Mui for her coordination of the waste audit!