On March 19th, 2014, 50 volunteers gathered outside of the Student Union Building (SUB), known to be a student hub, to sort through, weigh, and document half of the SUB’s daily waste – roughly 400 kilograms. The event was organized and run by the Campaigns team.
The waste was sorted in a core area of campus with high foot traffic, so as to increase visibility of the initiative, and let students see the waste produced by students. No doubt, the huge piles of waste had a visual impact and provided an opportunity to actively engage students in waste reduction at an educational booth also set up alongside the waste audit tables. Volunteers directed educational booths and encouraged students to stop by and learn about the waste audit and how they can reduce their own consumption and waste production.
The intention is for this event to be an annual initiative so that the data becomes more meaningful in order to monitor changes in waste habits at UBC, and so awareness of ways students can change their attitudes towards sorting their waste out can increase. It is hoped that the data collected will be considered by AMS Sustainability, the UBC Sustainability Initiative, Campus and Community Planning, Building Operations and the broader UBC community so that existing programs such as ‘Sort It Out’ may be further improved and we get one step closer to the goal of a Zero Waste Campus.
Stay tuned for more information on the 2015 waste audit, which will be run by our brand-new Zero Waste team!