Meredith College’s third annual waste audit, which was held in late February, shows that Meredith’s recycling efforts are having an impact. This year’s audit found that 20% of campus waste should have been recycled, or otherwise diverted from the waste stream.
The audit covered 522.5 pounds of campus waste, which comprises about 15% of campus trash generated in one day. Twenty-three volunteers sorted a random mix of classroom, office and residence hall waste.
The 2011 audit indicates continued improvement since 2009. Changes to the recycling program since academic year 2008-09 include:
Joyner Hall Recycling Pilot Project
Waste from Joyner Hall was sorted separately to gather data on the building’s current recycling pilot project.
Joyner Hall is leading a pilot project which began in January 2011 to provide complete recycling options for Meredith’s classroom buildings. New recycling bins were placed alongside trashcans at the stairwell and building exits on both the first and second floors. The waste stations provide the full range of options for disposing paper, aluminum, plastic and garbage. Trashcans were removed from individual classrooms; students can find a waste station visible from the entrance to each classroom.
The audit found that Joyner’s results were better than the overall campus. Fifteen percent of the waste in that building should have been recycled or otherwise diverted.
Waste Audit Recommendations
Based on 2011 findings, the College could consider expanding the pilot project to other classroom buildings. As a campus we must focus on correctly recycling our paper. Paper that is recyclable on campus includes copy and colored paper, envelopes and folders, sticky notes and shredded paper, magazines, brochures and books (with any hardcovers removed). Paper that cannot be recycled on campus at this time includes cereal boxes, food containers, and paper towels or tissues.
The annual waste audit is a collaboration that includes Facilities Services, the Office of Student Leadership and Service and the Sustainability Office.
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