Monday, March 11, 2013

Honors College Waste Audit

On Jan 29th, 5 dedicated EcoCampus members, assisted by Office of Sustainability recycling staff, did an audit of the UIC Honors College's recycling and waste habits. EcoCampus decided to do this because the the Honors College has made a public commitment to the recycling program, and they wanted to see if the institutional commitment made a difference in behavior.

Their report shows that there have been good results, especially with the paper recycling rate. Of the total paper produced in the UIC Honors College, 77% was recycled. This is a little better rate than other office buildings on campus.

The recycling rate overall in the Honors College was about 45% - in line with the recycling rate for the campus as a whole. Just like the rest of the campus, there is more work to be done.

Observations about what was in the non-recycling waste (trash): 43% of the trash was actually
recyclable. Most of that was paper. Another 28% of it was identified as compostable.

Conclusions: there are significant amounts of paper and glass, metal and plastic in the trash to be captured. Paper is the larger of the two streams, and the students recommend concentrating on capturing that as the next step to increase the recycling rate overall. They want to initiate a paper coffee cup recycling collection, as UIC’s new recycling vendor reports that the cups can go into the cardboard stream. In addition, they are interested in a composting effort within the College.

Read all the details in the EcoCampus report here and find more photos here.

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