Trash audit brings attention to sustainability

UFV students pick through garbage to see how much material is missing the recycling bin

Volunteers sort recyclable items from bags of trash at UFV's Abbotsford campus.

One student’s trash is another student’s recyclable.

On Oct. 6, about a dozen volunteers donned bright yellow ponchos and blue latex gloves at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Abbotsford campus green and dug through piles of garbage.

The second annual “waste audit” doubled as both an assessment of student, faculty and staff recycling habits and an educational opportunity, said organizer Travis Gingerich, with Sustainable UFV.

Volunteers dumped out a day’s worth of garbage bags from two of the campus’s buildings onto a tarp and picked through the items one by one, putting them in their correct piles – recyclable plastics, recyclable paper, compostables, true waste, etc.

There were many items in the garbage that shouldn’t have been there, said Gringerich, including several dozen disposable coffee cups, which should be recycled.

“If we’re filling a landfill with things that could be reused, things that could be composted, we’re being really irresponsible with the resources allocated to us,” said Gingerich.

He also said the decision to do the sorting on the main green, in view of fellow students passing from class to class was intentional.

“To put it out here on the green is exactly trying to make people aware of the issue,” he said.

The group planned to weigh the various piles of items to determine how much recyclable and compostable material there was compared to “true waste” , but judging by eye, the waste seemed dwarfed, at least in volume.

Gingerich said Sustainable UFV looks at the situation as a challenge, rather than blaming students for not using the correct receptacles.

“We have to look at it from an organizational point of view in that we need to be better educators, as well as having the receptacles in place for people to actually throw things away.”

Just Posted

Abbotsford parents invited to anti-gang education session

Presenters to discern myth from reality, offer warning signs that youths are getting into gangs

Welcome to 89 years at the same Abbotsford address

Philip Sheffield lunch brings past students together one more time

Abbotsford firefighters knock down house fire before it can spread

No one believed to be inside structure at the time of the fire on Clayburn Road Saturday morning

Abbotsford youths grill mayor on environmental policy at rally

Local youths continued climate strike as worldwide action takes place in hundreds of cities

Stolen stamp collection has been returned to owners in Abbotsford

Good Samaritan found the stamps hidden away in some bushes and turned them over to police

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say boy, 11, missing for two days found safe

Dominic Mattie was last seen at 5 p.m. in the 13500-block of Gateway Drive in Surrey

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Most Read