Zero Waste Blog Post: March 8, 2019
Increasing Waste Diversion at YRL
By: Natasha Oviedo, Malcolm Au, Kate Zeile, Gustav Fiere, and Elizabeth Tanner. Edited by Chloe Ney.
After the week seven waste audit, the Zero Waste team washed the straws and utensils they stored from the audit for future use. The straws and utensils collected will first be used in an interactive activity the team designed to engage participants of the SAR program and inspire them to think about how much waste can be created by using something as simple as a single plastic straw or fork. The team designed six questions that will be presented in stations to the students. Through this activity students will hopefully gain an improved understanding of waste management at UCLA and Young Research Library (YRL). Fun activities such as guessing how many straws from the waste audit are in an empty cheese balls jar (223) or what percentage of the sorted waste was divertible (78) create a memorable learning experience for students while exemplifying the impact of waste in their community.
The team is also moving forward on their project to improve YRL’s waste diversion. During the waste audit it was discovered that 56.5% of the waste going to landfill was compostable. To increase waste diversion at least 15 compost bins will be placed in YRL. The team located spots to place the compost bins. Through strategically placed compost bins and signage we hope to see waste diversion will increase.
On the same token, team members have been finishing sign designs to be placed at YRL. Ideally, the signs will show the most common items found in the waste audit that could have been diverted. The team hopes to have these signs installed by week ten – a time when libraries become more crowded than usual as students spend long hours preparing for their finals – to encourage students using the library to sort their waste properly.
All these efforts are made with the idea of making Young Research Library a more sustainable area. Hopefully, the team will see the results of their signage and campaign during its second waste audit around week seven next quarter.