During the Spring of 2013, John Moran, an Institute for the Environment Field Site Intern conducted waste assessments in three buildings: Morrison Residence Hall, the Dean Smith Center and Mary Ellen Jones.
The results were varied, given the diversity of the buildings studied. In Morrison, where the students are responsible for taking their trash and recycling outdoors themselves, a high percentage (47%) of traditional recyclables were found in the trash, highlighting the need for further education and outreach to this population. At the Smith Center, almost half of the trash (49%) was compostable, showcasing the strong potential for waste reduction in this area. At Mary Ellen Jones, when recyclables and compostable material were taken together, the potential for waste reduction was over 50%.