As the temperatures finally dip into frigid 10s and 20s, members of the Carleton community are warming up to waste through a new pilot program initiated by the STAs, Custodial, and Facilities. This collaborative pilot, the Carleton Community Waste Program, will be operating in Leighton, Goodsell, and the Facilities building throughout winter term with the goal of eventual expansion to other academic buildings throughout campus.
The Carleton Community Waste Program is designed to reduce and streamline waste generated in the pilot buildings, while making participants more aware of the amount of waste they produce. Initiated in response to building occupants’ requests for composting, this more environmentally-friendly waste stream will now be available for the disposal of countless pizza boxes, paper towels, and food waste. Along with composting, recycling and trash will be located as a unit in a central location on every floor; this placement, along with clear signage, will present students, faculty, and staff with the explicit opportunity to dispose of their waste into the appropriate stream.
In addition, faculty and staff have been asked to give up their individual waste bins and engage more directly with the amount of waste they are generating. Reducing the number of individual bins will lead to a reduction in the number of plastic bin liners, saving money and eliminating an unnecessary source of landfilled waste. In the four floors of Leighton, there were over 101 individual recycling and 126 individual trash bins before the start of the pilot program. That’s thousands of plastic liners generated in Leighton alone! Cutting this unnecessary waste source is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount of waste that leaves our campus.
Community Waste Program participants can also opt to keep their bins but will be responsible for dumping their waste into the centralized waste bins. By disposing of their own paper, banana peels, and plastic wrap, participants will be more directly engaged with the waste they produce; hopefully, prompting individuals to reconsider the amount of waste they generate.
The Carleton Community Waste Program initiates actions prescribed by the Climate Action Plan and presents an innovative opportunity for Carleton to be a campus leader in sustainable waste management. As always, if you have any questions, comments, joyous exclamations, or concerns about the Carleton Community Waste pilot program or other issues of sustainability on Carleton’s campus, please email email@example.com.