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)

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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.



Members of the Zero-Waste team met at YRL to plan where the compost bins will be placed.
tiny_down_compost_11_x_17_2016.jpg tiny_down_landfill_11_x_17_2016.jpg tiny_down_recycle_11_x_17_2016.jpg
Examples of educational signage at UC Merced.