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.”