This November, Cascadia Consulting visited IU Bloomington to start a waste audit. Initiated by a grant, this audit allows IU to analyze how much of our waste is being properly thrown away, recycled, or composted, and provides recommendations moving forward to better divert waste and produce less waste as a campus!
Net Impacters had the opportunity to join the waste audit sampling Wednesday and Thursday, November 7th and 8th. At the audit, students learned how to do a visual analysis of the types of waste IU produces – from organizing into plastics, compostables, and non-recoverables. Though this included digging through trash and collaborating with others to determine the best percentages, it also highlighted how much stuff gets thrown away on campus without a second consideration over what happens to it. Moving forward, there is great opportunity for a better streamlined process for how students can recycle properly and the containers/products IU can buy that minimizes waste and negative environmental impact. Furthermore, minimizing waste can also mean future potential savings for the campus, creating a better outcome for the university and the environment.