37% of the waste from residences???

Thursday, June 09, 2011

I have just finished the waste numbers for the month of May; which is usually a very wasteful month due to campus move outs and various spring clean-ups. It turns out that campus residences produced 37% of our total campus waste – four of the seven residences are currently empty.

This is mostly due to campus move-out; which is the most wasteful event on campus – total chaos! Everyone is in a hurry; parents want to get the (cough!) off campus, people are fighting for the two elevators servicing an entire building, students haven’t finished packing until the very moment their parents arrive, staff only have a few hours to make a residence hotel-worthy, carts are missing, people are missing, people are losing patience, getting angry, yelling….HECTIC! (Scenario looks a little like this)

But wait! What about my recycling bin? It hasn’t been emptied yet…and the stuff which doesn’t fit in the car? (Honk!) “Get out of the way! It’s my turn to park!” Well, I guess I will just throw it all out in the nearest 20-yard waste bin…

Luckily we have an absolutely AMAZING TEAM which helped us save over 2.9 Metric tonnes of material from going to the landfill during the Dump and run (which would have put up the residences waste value to 40%). Over three quarters of the material got donated to several charities yesterday morning, and the rest is going to incoming international students during the first Free Store of the year.

Over the last four years, the program hasn’t stopped growing, from 1.4 metric tonnes the first year to 2.9 in 2011. I am glad that we have saved all those perfectly good items from rotting in a landfill (seriously, I get a new pair of jeans each year!). However, I am worried that people are just consuming more and more stuff –we might need to work on student’s consumption more than anything… please stop buying stuff!

Thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers!
Check out the story of stuff tolearn more about consumption issues


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