A Waste Audit was conducted at two Residence Halls (which will remain nameless to protect the innocent) on January 26 from 11 am – 2 pm. The overnight trash was sorted into categories and weighed (kg). 

Guess Which Picture is Trash Versus Bags of Recyclables, Donations & Composting Materials Found in the Trash?

Bags of Trash found from the Waste Audit

Bags of trash found in the Waste Audit

Picture A was actual trash meant for a landfill while picture B was bags of recyclables that were found in the trash.

Waste Audit Breakdown

  • Landfill: 36.34 kg
  • Recycling: 24.87 kg
  • Compost: 8.4 kg
  • Can/Bottle Deposits: 1.35 kg
  • Donation: 1.74 kg
  • Plastic Bags: 1.32 kg

What were the common incorrectly trashed items?

    • Paper, cardboard, notecards
    • Water bottles, Other plastic bottles, Take out clam shells (clean), Plastic Bags
    • Aluminum cans
    • Reusable bags, donations, electronics & Vaping cartridges
    • Compostable materials including food waste

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Key Takeaway

Not all trash is created equal and more recycling and other landfill diversion is necessary.