Last spring, my academic library worked with our campus recycling to audit the trash being produced on the main floor of the library. The audit revealed that recyclable/compostable materials made up 47% (by weight) of our waste stream that day; compostable materials alone made up 34% (by weight) of the waste stream that day.
Using the audit results, we implemented a new bin system in that area over fall term to both pilot composting AND change behaviors by making people walk to the recycle/waste station. We set up 3 locations on the floor with trash, compost and recycling bins, moving all trash cans by desk and tables (except a paper recycling bin by the printer station). We are also collecting pizza boxes to compost during exam time at the Info Desk (we collected 74 last term at finals time!)
Now it’s time to audit again to see if the program has made a difference. and a few of us in the library will be assisting with the audit TODAY! We will open up all trash bags and sort into 3 streams: recyclable, compostable and true trash.