zero-waste at young research library: effectiveness of educational and outreach methods at increasing waste diversion
Pictured above, left to right: Gustav Fiere, Elizabeth Tanner, Natasha Oviedo (Team Leader), Kate Zeile, and Malcolm Au (Team Leader)

SAR Project | 2019

Zero-Waste at Young Research Library: Effectiveness of Educational and Outreach Methods at Increasing Waste Diversion

SAR Zero Waste Team:

Project Description: 

The Zero-Waste SAR team will be conducting a research project on the use of educational signage and outreach campaigns to increase waste diversion at Young Research Library (YRL) with the intention of beginning the process to implementing a permanent zero-waste system in the library. A recent waste audit conducted week ten of the quarter system when library use rises as students study for their finals revealed that 85% of 600 lbs of waste in the waste stream was divertable meaning it could have been composted or recycled. Cafe 451, an ASUCLA restaurant addition to the research library, is responsible for a portion of the waste created in YRL although the exact is unknown. However, based on the single-use cups and straws, along with the packaging of ingredients used to make the beverages sold that were found in the waste audit, waste is produced both by the staff that prepares and sells the drinks and food and the consumers buying it. The library also lacks clear signage and composting bins which creates another roadblock to ensure that waste is disposed of properly. By implementing new signage and planning strategic educational and outreach methods our team intends on finding effective solutions to reducing waste. The signage in the campaign will serve the purpose of clarifying which bins are for recycling, composting and waste along with what products be recycled or composted. Other educational methods will include displaying the impacts of disposing of waste properly and encouraging students to dispose of their waste properly by using humorous or entertaining frames of reference that will capture their attention. Our methodology to understanding the results of our educational campaign and signage will be based on methodically sorted waste audits prior and directly after the campaigns that can be statistically assessed. Ultimately, our results will aid in the implementation of an effective zero-waste system by providing information on the efficacy of certain methods and provide ideas to other departments and buildings hoping to become zero-waste.

Stakeholder: Kikei Wong, Zero Waste Coordinator

Team Leaders: Natasha Oviedo and Malcolm Au

Team Members: Kate Zeile, Elizabeth Tanner, and Gustav Fiere

Press Release

Midterm Presentation

Midterm Report

Final Presentation

Final Report