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Purpose and Use

Orange County contracted Kessler Consulting, Inc. to conduct a waste composition study (WCS). The purpose of the study was to understand the percentages of various materials, including recyclable materials, currently being landfilled within the County. UNC-Chapel Hill was invited to participate in the study.  The results of samples taken from five areas of the campus have been compiled in this report. Use of these results in major planning decisions is cautioned, due to the limited number and size of samples analyzed.

Sampling Summary

Samples of approximately 100 pounds each were chosen from five generator areas. These included:

  1. Residence Halls (traditional residence halls) such as Morrison, Hinton James, Craige, Koury, Avery, Connor, Joyner, McIver, Spencer, etc.
  2. Apartment-style Residence Halls such as Baity Hill, Ram Village, Taylor Hall, etc.
  3. Academic/Administration/Library Buildings such as Davis Library, Steele/Bynum, Carr/Caldwell, Phillips, Peabody, Administrative Office Building, 1700 Airport Rd., etc.
  4. Research Areas such as Genome Sciences, Dental School, Thurston Bowles, Genetic Medicine, Taylor, MBRB, etc.
  5. Event Space and Multi-Use Areas which include event spaces and multi-use buildings that host events such as Student Union, Stone Center, Friday Center, McColl, Loudermilk, Knapp-Sanders, etc.

Kessler conducted a sorting event in the fall and in the spring to account for seasonal variability. The first sorting event occurred during the week of October 24-28, 2016. The second sorting event occurred the week of April 3-7, 2017.

All samples were hand-sorted into the previously defined material categories. After the entire sample was sorted, one of the KCI supervisors weighed and recorded the net weights of each material category on a data recording form. Two samples from each UNC generator sector, one from each season, were sorted during the two-season study.

Note: Dining halls were not included in the sampling. While sampling the waste from our dining halls would have been interesting, we were limited to five sample areas. We know that as of FY17, our dining halls are diverting 68-73% of their waste through recycling and composting activities.

Please view the UNC Executive Summary to access the graphs and results. The full report may also be accessed online.

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