Fall 2014 Waste Audit Results

Last fall, Sustainable SURP with the help of dedicated volunteers from the School of Urban and Regional Planning conducted a waste audit of the 3rd and 4th floors of the South Bond Building. The results revealed that there is much room for improvement for the school to be more environmentally responsible. Each individual has an impact on our waste levels and can make a difference by making the effort to “trash responsibly.”

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Left to right: Elisa, Victor, Casey, Bri, Urvi, Alex, Ian

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Elisa and Victor weighing the waste

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Left (Casey); Center (Bri having the time of her life); Right (Ian)

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Left to right: Casey, Alex, Kyra

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Left to right: Graham, Bri, Elisa

 

Results

While we have the receptacles in place to recycle, the results of the audit show that we have work to do to increase our diversion rate, and to incorporate organic waste management into our practices at SURP.

Overall:

  • Approximately 73.5 lbs of total waste was collected over one week.
  • Approximately 33% of total wastes were recyclable.
    • Only 27% of recyclable waste was properly sorted.
    • Therefore, only 9% of waste was properly diverted from landfill.
    • 35% of the recyclable bins were contaminated by waste.
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Can you guess how many coffee cups this is? Answer: 35.

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More waste

Compost:

  • 37% of total wastes were compostable (food wastes and compostable paper).
  • If SURP were to adopt a composting program, up to 70% of waste materials (organics, compostable food packaging, etc. in addition to recyclable materials) could be diverted from landfill.

Waste Station Poster - Winter 2015

Now what?

Sustainable SURP will be continuing this waste project into Winter 2015. We plan to introduce a new labeling system to help ameliorate the waste and recycle levels. In addition, we will conduct another waste audit. We will be looking for volunteers like you, so please stay tuned.

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