Zero Waste Blog Post: February 1, 2019
Pictured above: The Zero Waste Team meeting with our stakeholder, Kikei, and the library building officer, Tom Rosholt, to pitch ideas and discuss logistics.
Zero Waste Team Zeroes in on Library Waste Diversion
By: Natasha Oviedo, Malcolm Au, Kate Zeile, Gustav Fiere, and Elizabeth Tanner. Edited by Chloe Ney.
So far this quarter, the Zero Waste Team has collaborated with our stakeholder, Kikei Wong, and decided on the focus of our project. At our first meeting with Kikei, she showed us eye-opening data from a waste audit conducted at Young Research Library at the end of Fall Quarter 2018. From this sampling of waste, a staggering 85% was divertable. Photographs taken during the audit showed the extent of the issue- unopened and unused packages of sparkling water from trader joes had been thrown in the trash. After learning about this issue, our team immediately became interested in increasing waste diversion at YRL through education and outreach.
On January 31st, we met with Library Building Officer Tom Rosholt to discuss our project and the possible methods we could implement to achieve our goal. We decided that possible methods we could use to increase awareness are posters, pamphlets, giveaways, table games, and displays. We plan on focusing our campaigns on key waste items that are the most prevalent in the waste stream and that are easily divertable.
Our posters and signage will focus on how to properly dispose of certain items, will contain eye-opening statistics, data, and physical models in order to captivate library goers, and will have simple imagery that everyone will be able to understand and learn from. We plan on strategically placing the posters to cater to the wide range of audiences that visit YRL. Clearly labeling the different waste containers in the library and using colored liners that are consistent for each waste stream is also an important focus of our project, as the waste bins in YRL do not currently have clear signage. In addition, we are optimistic that the table games and giveaways will engage students and staff and encourage them to make a change in their current habits to decrease their waste production.
Lastly, we also plan on reaching out to Cafe 451 soon with the hopes of educating the staff about proper waste diversion methods and possible ways to improve their current methods of waste diversion.
This diagram depicts the composition of a waste audit of YRL conducted before Finals Week during Fall Quarter 2018. In this sampling of waste going to landfill, a staggering 85% of it was divertable. When Kikei shared with us this unbelievable statistic, we were immediately interested in helping to increase waste diversion at YRL.