Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get Dirty: Part I

Waste Audit

The spring Green Living waste audit is coming up soon!  Last fall, your trusty Green Living Reps conducted a waste audit of residential trash (Ames, Dane, Shaw, Holmes, Hastings, North), and found that:
  •  26% of our trash by weight could have been recycled or reused
  • This is down since the first Green Living audit in Fall 2005, when 45% of the trash could have been recycled or reused.
Here’s how the audit worked: your custodians saved trash bags and labeled them with each dorm's name and date.  The Reps met up with your trash at a recycling warehouse in Allston, where we took everything out of bags and sorted it into recycling, food waste/compostables, reusable items that could have been donated, and residuals (actual trash).  Next, we weighed each of these components and put them in separate bins for processing.  It was an enlightening, if smelly, experience!  

Here are some of the recyclable/usable things we found in your trash:

Why is recycling important?
  • Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire commercial airline fleet every three months.
  • Making cans from recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy required to produce cans from virgin material.
  • Every year enough paper is thrown away to make a 12’ wall from New York to California. 
  • Glass can be reused an infinite number of times; over 41 billion glass containers are made each year.
For more fun facts about recycling, check this link.

For a reminder of what can be recycled at HLS, go to here

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