A student in ENVE 560, Investigating and Evaluatiing Environmental Issues, decided to do his community service project on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. WKU graduate student Dan Wilson conducted a dumpster audit for several dumpsters on campus. Students from one of Dr. Ritchie Taylor’s undergraduate classes agreed to help Dan tear apart bags of garbage to see what WKU faculty, staff and students had thrown away. Much of what the WKU community had considered “waste” was actually recyclable. The students then separated the recyclables from the waste and made sure the plastics, paper and glass were recycled this time. Here are some recycling facts that might make you wonder why anyone would choose not to recycle!
- The amount of recycling in 2007 saved the energy equivalent of 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline and prevented the release of carbon dioxide of a approximately 35 million cars.
- Each ton of mixed paper that is recycled can save the energy equivalent to 185 gallons of gasoline.
- Disposal of waste to landfills has decreased from 89% in 1980 to 54% in 2007.
Hopefully this dumpster audit made the WKU community aware of the unnecessary
waste that is ending up in our landfills. Let’s recycle!