Today marks the kick-off of an 11 week environmental sustainability competition that HWS is competing in against 597 other colleges and universities. The HWS goal for the competition is simple; to increase recycling by 10% and decrease energy consumption by 10%.
To launch 10% & 10% the Office of Sustainability teamed with Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee’s class, “The Geography of Garbage” to host a waste audit designed to increase student, faculty and staff awareness about recycling and motivate them to recycle more.
Students and staff piled all the waste generated in one day (Monday, Jan. 31) at Hobart and William Smith Colleges on the front lawn of the Scandling Campus Center. Students in Magee’s class then weighed the waste to determine the Colleges current recycling rate, and selected random bags of trash from the pile to analyze. By examining the trash, the students determined just how much students, faculty and staff send to the landfill that could actually be recycled.
During this week and next, the Office of Sustainability will sponsor a variety of initiatives to help raise awareness and encourage the campus community to make the right environmental choices. Then, on Tuesday, Feb. 15, Magee’s class will check-in on campus progress toward our 10% goal by piling up more trash and conducting another audit. At that time, the group hopes to see an increase in the Colleges’ recycling rate and an overall decrease in the amount of recyclable items the Colleges send to the landfill.