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GMU Earth Day 2009 Trash Audit


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Trash Audit performed by the EAG and various students across campus on Earth Day, 2009

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GMU Earth Day 2009 Trash Audit

  1. 1. GMU Earth Day 2009 Trash Clean-up and Audit Organizer: Ashlea Smith, Intern, Office of Sustainability and member of the GMU EAG Participants: Jessica D’Emedio, Lauren Perry, Bob McMurtry, Gopi Kapoor, Lucy Biederman, Robert Gabay, Katie Partlow, Jose Gayoso, and various students that passed by and said, “ Hey! I want to help.” April 22, 2009
  2. 2. Inventory Needed <ul><li>Large, prominent place to set up </li></ul><ul><li>A many people as possible- the more the better </li></ul><ul><li>Student media and newspaper journalists and photographers to take pictures and make a fuss about your trash audit! </li></ul><ul><li>Big Tarps </li></ul><ul><li>Signage describing audit and soliciting help </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of Recycling Bins for various materials </li></ul><ul><li>Box of bags and gloves </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to get dirty and show the campus how much litter is around campus and in our streams </li></ul><ul><li>Time- at least two hours to dedicate to picking up litter across campus and sorting it into the correct recycling or trash bin. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Perfect Trash Audit Layout Hard items Soft items -Co-mingled -Paper bins & Compost -Recycling Center vs -recyclables -Sorters COLLECTION SITE TRASH Tally & Over- sight talker talker Signage Signage Signage Chuck trash over here from collection site # of participants needed: 8 3-collection sorters 2- soft vs. hard sorters 1-tally/oversight 2-talkers Signage Signage Signage
  4. 4. Pictures from GMU Earth Day Campus Clean up and Trash Audit 4/22/2009 While our trash audit was smaller than originall dreamed- it still brought in a lot of litter from across campus. Here, EAG members are dropping off what they found around campus. Ashlea, Jessica, and Lucy set up the trash audit area and Noel started to organize what litter goes into which pile.
  5. 5. Pictures from GMU Earth Day Campus Clean up and Trash Audit 4/22/2009 Participants put on gloves, get bags, collect litter, and Ashlea dons a bag and the sorting begins…. and continues… and continues for many hours.
  6. 6. Pictures from GMU Earth Day Campus Clean up and Trash Audit 4/22/2009 Ashlea tries recruiting while wearing her “new black dress” Some folks come over help out. They must have been drawn by the appeal of wearing a person-sized trash bag. Recruits Robert Gabay and Lucy Beiderman (in pink hoodie) help sort. Not pictured- goats were brought to Mason to be natural lawn mowers and were about 50 meters away from the audit.
  7. 7. The Results are In! After several hours of collection and auditing, the results of the Trash Audit are below: (1= one 50-gallon black trash bag): 1.5 - co-mingled recycling. (majority was plastic bottles and Redbull cans) 1- cardboard .5 - newspapers (a LOT of Braodside copies!) 1.5 - mixed paper (including a LOT of receipts, salt-pepper wrappers/magazines/flyers for campus events) .25 - white paper (essays/flyers/scraps) 1 - plastic film (grocery bags/bubble wrap/plastic wrap- especially blowing down sidewalks and pulled from streams) 1 - compostable waste (including soggy paper napkins/compostable containers/food waste) .25 - cigarette butts/boxes/cartons .25- wrappers (energy bars/candy bars/cookie and potato chip bags)  1 - other types of waste (twine/foil confetti from parties- this includes the car bumper and clothing mentioned below) 1- polystyrene cups, plates and plastic utensils .25 - containers for creamers/cream cheese/ketchup/bottle caps
  8. 8. More News from the Earth Day Audit! <ul><li>We found 3 pairs of socks, a pair of underwear, a car bumper, a baby brown snake living in a glass bottle, 2 tee-shirts, a pair of yellow gym shorts, one biking glove, a notebook, two unused condoms, and an unidentifiable action figure. </li></ul><ul><li>We put the snake in the Rain Garden near the JC (he was a little harmless snake- not a copperhead, rattlesnake, or anything identifiable as dangerous) </li></ul><ul><li>The Earth Day Clean-up and Audit made the front pages of the April 27 th Broadside newspaper and the online Mason Gazette </li></ul>Front Page Photo! Photography credit: Laura Foltz, Broadside
  9. 9. 2009 GMU Earth Day Trash Audit Analysis 2009 Earth Day Trash Audit Analysis