We wanted to start off the new year by watching our waste, so we partnered with Facilities Management Waste Reduction & Recycling Department (WRRD) to conduct an audit of trash generated in RBD Library. WRRD collected 23 bags of trash from RBD Library within a 4-hour period during the week of January 25th. Then on Thursday, January 31st, office interns and staff enjoyed the beautiful weather and gathered on Cater Lawn to begin the process of sorting through the trash. We found quite a few interesting things in garbage & gathered a rich amount of data for WRRD to use in their efforts to reduce waste generation and improve recycling on campus.
In total, we sorted 23 bags of waste weighing 242.8 pounds. Of that waste, 32% could have been recycled had library patrons made better choices about where to place their waste; leaving 68% going to the landfill. Of important note, however, is that of the 161 pounds of waste headed to the landfill (& contributing to climate change), roughly 67%, or 108 pounds, could actually be diverted IF we had a campus-wide composting program.
From the results, it looks like we all could stand to watch our waste through reducing, reusing, & recycling when and where we can — including here on campus!