Tuesday, April 28, 2015

4th Saturday

We are always interested in the waste signage that RAs produce independently. This was part of a larger billboard display entitled "Kitchen How-To." This board does a good job of highlighting important compostable items such as tissues and pizza boxes. It also says that the landfill is for "trash, and anything you are not sure about." I would challenge the latter claim, because I think that the landfill is overused simply because people allow themselves to put anything in it.

Edible foods that we found in trash bins in Goodhue. We cooked the ramen from the dry noodles and microwaved the pizza. A greasy breakfast for the trash crew.

A puzzling decision to throw away an entire packaged salad.

Another trash cornucopia. Everything here was found in landfill receptacles during our rounds.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3rd Week

It looks like all this food should have been left out on the counter. But NO, we actually took it out of the landfill bin in the kitchen! The waste crew starts off the shift with a greasy breakfast.

More nicely intact food from the landfill.

Textiles are a common occurrence in our landfill waste stream. Textiles are also highly recyclable, because the fibers can be used for a number of applications such as stuffing in pillows and couches. However, Carleton does not have a textiles recycling system in place. In the ideal world, students of this campus would repair clothing when it tears in specific places. As you can see, though it is torn in one small place, this fabric is in quite good condition.

An egregious misuse of the landfill waste stream. Cardboard and aluminum are valuable  recyclable materials.

Here is another instance of many recyclable materials found in the landfill waste stream. In this case, the issue arose because recycling bins were removed from the hallways and taken into someones room to use as a beer pong table (a popular use for the "slim jim" containers in residence halls). Unfortunately, the people who decided to co-opt the recycling receptacles failed to return them in time for their floor-mates with recyclable waste. Consequently, the landfill bin gets filled up with aluminum and cardboard.

This is a wild compost receptacle, meaning this is the condition we found it in. And as you will see, it is a happy sight. There are three items in here that we work hard to promote as compost to the student body: friday flowers, sayles boxes, and paper towels.

This is a very courteous thing, and something that warms my heart as a trash man. Rather than stuffing recyclable materials into the top of the bin, so that it is overflowing and difficult to empty, the residents of this floor have placed a paper bag with their excess recyclable materials on the floor next to the recycling bin. This is also a smart move because it suggests that these people did not take the fullness of a receptacle as an indication that it would be necessary for them to direct all further recyclables to the landfill bin (which, being larger, is typically not yet full). Oftentimes, we see students chucking their recyclable materials into the landfill bin simply because the local recycling bin is full.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

1st and 2nd Week

Andrew with organic goat whey protein powder, vanilla flavor. The can is half full.

Data collection + resource recovery

Saturday crew with recovered resources. Two pairs of shoes this week.