Dirty to Digital: UW introduces ‘intelligent’ kiosks for composting, recycling, garbage

April 19, 2012

 

Solar-powered. Wireless. Data-driven. You might not think of these terms when describing waste collection, but this traditionally low-tech field is about to become less dirty and more digital thanks to a new program at UW.

As part of a just-launched pilot, a number of the existing outdoor garbage and recycling cans on Red Square have been replaced with high-tech, automated kiosks that collect more types of materials. The kiosks will be officially launched during a small ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m., Friday, April 20, during Earth Day festivities.

Exploring the Way We Waste

March 19, 2012

 

On April 11, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Red Square, volunteers will suit up and sort through one day’s worth of trash from around the University of Washington campus. The annual ‘UW Trash-In’ is a fun and insightful way to explore how much compostable and recyclable material is still being thrown away on campus, and this annual event continues to grow in interest and impact.

“We’re changing the way we think about waste at UW,” said UW Recycling & Solid Waste Manager Emily Newcomer.

After a brief introduction to the sorting process, volunteers are given a cover-up suit, gloves and goggles, and are sent to a sorting station. Bags of trash are emptied onto tables and volunteers sort materials by type into nearby bins for compost, cans/bottles, mixed recycling and garbage. The party-like atmosphere includes popular music, sorting games and challenges.

“There’s a lot of dancing and laughing while we sort,” said Aubrey Batchelor with the UW Sustainability Office. “You learn so much about what can be composted or recycled, and it’s surprisingly fun to see what others have thrown away.”

Real Dawgs Dig It

March 6, 2012

Come. Stay. Sort.

Real Dawgs everywhere are invited to join us at the 2012 UW Trash-In! It’s a fun and insightful mini trash sort aimed at exploring how much recyclable and compostable material is still being thrown away on campus.

On April 11, 2012, from 10am to 2pm in Red Square, volunteers will suit up and sort through one day’s worth of trash from designated campus buildings. Materials will be separated into categories that mirror the types currently collected on campus:

Sustainable Growth

January 9, 2012

This spring, the Quad’s vibrant cherry blossom trees will be given a run for their money. By then, a green wall — a diverse wall of vegetation — will cover the side of Gould Hall. The green wall is a part of a Biodiversity Green Wall, Edible Green Screen + Water Harvesting Demonstration project. The green screen will be for plants that are planted in the ground and climb like vines, which will allow students to explore the concept of vertical surfaces as a way to grow local plants when space in an urban environment is limited. The water-harvesting demonstration portion will capture water from the roof of Gould Hall and store it in a cistern to be used for irrigation.