As part of the TU Sustainability Committee’s eight-week Recyclemania program, a waste audit was conducted across campus on February 8.
Five students examined all the trash and recycling that was thrown out in a 24 hour period piece by piece in order to aggregate data for the audit.
The group presented their findings at a plastics awareness event on Monday, February 13 to an audience of approximately 70 students and faculty. Included in their presentation were the following results:
At TU, more than 78,000 plastic bottles are used per year.
Over 9,000 plastic bottles are thrown into the trash each year.
In the library alone, almost 30 percent of plastic bottles are incorrectly disposed of.
Almost 20 percent of plastics are clogging the waste stream.
“We focused the waste audit on plastic bottles because we are wanting to see what plastics waste TU creates, and to start a legislative appeal to require less plastics on campus,” said graduate assistant for sustainability Bobi Deere.
The Committee plans to repeat the audit quarterly to track patterns over time.
They also asked that students take part in a quick survey about plastics on campus. Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MK28B9G