Exploring the way we waste on the University of Washington Campus.
University of Washington
Red Square

UW Recycling’s annual Trash-In event is an opportunity to increase campus-wide awareness about the content of the campus waste and recycling streams. Students, staff and other members of the UW community gather to sort through trash collected from campus buildings and explore the way we waste. 2012 had the largest volunteer turnout ever and the effects of this effort can be seen in the amazing results.

In 2012 volunteers sorted over 1,200 pounds of garbage into five categories:

1.  Compostables (including food scraps and compostable serviceware items)

2.  Mixed Paper (including cardboard)

3.  Mixed Containers (including cans, bottles, plastic dairy tubs, aseptic packaging, and non-compostable cups)

4.  Other (including Styrofoam, e.Media, plastic film, and Surplus items)

5.  Garbage

The new location in Red Square also allowed us to reach a wider student audience and increase educational awareness about what is thrown out on campus. We found that of the waste collected from the eight buildings 51% was compostable, 29% was garbage, 20% was mixed recyclables. These results are consistent with the previous two UW Recycling Trash-In events and illustrate that our waste diversion programs are continuing to reliably operate.

The UW Recycling Trash-In would not be possible without the effort of our volunteers and campus partners (Custodial Services and Sustainability Office). Thank you to everyone who continues to support our waste reduction goals.

Fun Facts: 
UW Recycling is devoted to achieving our goal of diverting 70% of the University’s waste from the landfill by 2020.
The first UW campus trash-in took place in 1970.
Since 2010, the UW has reduced the percentage of waste that qualifies as trash by 11%.
Project Contact Name: 
UW Recycling
(206) 685-2811