Focused on gauging the waste management practices of businesses on "The Ave.," the main objectives of this project were to educate these businesses about the importance of waste diversion and to persuade them to adopt more sustainable practices. We also wanted to encourage businesses to consider purchasing compostable to-go cups and containers so that the waste carried onto campus would be entirely compostable – and parallel to UW’s efforts of offering 100% compostable serviceware.
Students in the ENVIR 480 course talked to over 20 restaurants and cafes on "The Ave." During these meetings we have consulted their current approach to waste diversion and have offered them a packet of composting information. Some businesses even signed on pledges that signify that the business would make an active effort throughout the next year to improve its waste diversion practices.
As a result, we were able to discover what types of approaches the restaurants and cafes take to manage their waste. In addition, we have identified several key challenges surrounding composting that must be overcome to spread the idea of composting.
We hope to inform UW students about the consequences of their purchases.