Students from the University of North Florida pull items from a dumpster during last year’s “Garbage on the Green” event. The idea is to demonstrate what gets thrown away that could be recycled or disposed of properly instead.
The University of North Florida wants its students, faculty and the public to know exactly what kind and how much trash the university generates. Wednesday from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the school will host “Garbage on the Green” in the grassy area located in front of the Fine Arts Center. This is the university’s third trash and recycling audit.
Volunteers will sort, measure and catalogue the waste. The event kicks off with an early morning cleanup of litter on campus, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Organizations are invited to participate with demonstrations and interactive booths that provide education on environmental issues and some will be accepting donations for reuse. There will be food and entertainment, including sculpture made from recycled materials. This event is free and open to the public.
The university-sponsored event is aimed at educating students, faculty and staff about ways to reduce campus trash through recycling and litter-prevention practices. Among the goals of the campus master plan is to include opportunities to integrate more waste reduction practices on campus as the university continues to increase its student population and to preserve its natural areas.
“Garbage on the Green is an experiment for the campus that addresses some basic questions like how much trash do we produce in 24 hours and what kind of trash is it? How much of that trash can be diverted away from the landfill and recycled? Finding answers to those questions will point us toward steps we can take to recycle more and put less trash in the landfill,” said Dr. Radha Pyati, environmental chemist and director of the UNF Environmental Center.
A waste audit is a systematic study of trash UNF throws away. Information collected during the waste audit will be analyzed to help determine best practices to improve waste reduction programs and recover resources that would normally go to the landfill.
UNF publicizes and transfers to other departments when equipment/furniture is no longer needed and currently recycles:
• Mixed paper (folders, magazines, newsprint, books) — 34,352 pounds last fiscal year 2008-2009
• Cardboard — 119,920 pounds last fiscal year 2008-2009