Garbage on the Green: an Annual Waste Audit

Student: Caitlin Kengle

Since its inauguration, the University of North Florida (UNF) Environmental Center has focused on promoting and increasing sustainability. In 2007 the Environmental Center began an annual waste-auditing program called Garbage on the Green to gauge the campus waste stream. The data obtained from the program are used to educate students, faculty, staff, and community members and provide empirical evidence for recommendations to improve campus sustainability. This project summarizes the results from the ninth annual waste audit, which took place Thursday, October 22, 2015. The waste audit analyzed a 24-hour waste stream that was collected from four locations on campus: two academic buildings and two outdoor courtyards. More than 100 volunteers helped sort, categorize and weigh the collected waste. The data from the waste audit were analyzed and compiled into the 2015 Garbage on the Green annual report. The report describes the methods used in the audit – adopted from the Environmental Protection Agency – as well as analysis and discussion of the data. The data obtained through the audit is then compared to the University’s actual diversion rate. The data show trends in waste disposal by location as well as individual material consumption and disposal rates and practices. From these data, focused and researched recommendations can be made for future improvement of the university’s diversion rate