After laboring away for the last couple of weeks, we're finally starting to publish our spring 2013 results online. Our analysis of the effectiveness of waste bin signs in the HUB is now posted on Our Work, as is Megan's proposal to study waste in UW dorms by comparing the results of trash sorting with surveys of dorm residents' perceptions of their own waste-disposal habits. The big one for spring -- the report detailing the results of The Denny Project -- is still a work in progress and will hopefully be finished and posted early next week. We'll send another update when it goes live. Until then, enjoy these initial offerings.
While you wait for our forthcoming Spring 2013 results, here's a Portlandia sketch about complex recycling systems. Strangely, this video is somehow being used to train FBI agents.
Photo used courtesy of Chris Jordan.
Don't forget that well-known photographer Chris Jordan will be speaking tomorrow night at Seattle's Town Hall. His presentation will discuss his travels to Midway Island, where he captured many of his iconic photos (such as the one at right), and it gets underway at 7:30. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased here.
Of course, more details about Mr. Jordan and this event can also be found at the Sightline Institute's web page, since they are the ones organizing this event as part of their ongoing "Sightline@20 Series."
This promises to be an exceptional event, and we hope to see you there tomorrow!
WOOF's initial experiment 3D printing with reconstituted plastic utensils.
Today marks the launch of our new pilot program in Suzzallo Cafe in partnership with WOOF, a group of UW engineers working on 3D printing using recycled plastics. This program will re-capture used compostable plastic utensils from Suzzallo and divert these materials to WOOF for use in 3D printing. The program itself is designed to scale up to WOOF's needs, and we're ready to expand into other high-traffic cafes (like the UW Tower) if this initial phase is successful.
Of course, we're super excited about this project, and we expect it to be successful and to expand rather quickly. In fact, we see it as a "win" for everyone involved. It benefits UW by eliminating fees for landfilling or composting these utensils, and it benefits WOOF members by providing them with costly raw materials. In addition, it will someday benefit UWGP and UW Recycling, as WOOF has agreed to begin printing compost bins for us to distribute across campus once supply and production increase. In the near future, then, this project will allow us to re-invest our recycled waste into better waste-diversion infrastructure on campus.
Thanks to Ivan Banning, UW HFS in general, UW Recycling, UW CAP, and WOOF for helping to put this together. Again, we're excited about this initiative and hopeful for its future.
Check out this video by UW student Aaron Calzado. The video outlines Aaron's vision of a new system of adaptable signs for campus waste bins, and was produced as part of Aaron's senior capstone project. His system has already been implemented in Parnassus Cafe (in the basement of the Art Building, Parnassus is one of the best cafes on campus), which is shown in the video.
Aaron met with UWGP and UW Recycling as part of the development of this project, and we're very proud of his results. Nicely done, Aaron!
As listed on HuskyJobs (log in and search "garbology" to find our posting), we're now hiring a student as our Outreach Coordinator. The position is ideal for a student interested in local sustainability efforts, flexible hours, and a little bit of extra cash. Details of the job listing are pasted below, and all are encouraged to apply online at HuskyJobs!
Outreach and Communications Coordinator, UW Recycling & Solid Waste
Posted: May 29, 2013 Employment
Hourly Salary Level: $11.44 per hour
Description UW Recycling and the UW Garbology Project are hiring one student assistant to work with office and project staff to develop outreach materials and programs. This position is an ideal part-time job for an advanced undergraduate with an interest in sustainable environmental initiatives and urban planning. Work hours are flexible, and the position carries up to 150 hours of funded work from summer 2013 through fall quarter 2013.
The Outreach and Communications Coordinator will work with UW Recycling and the UW Garbology Project (UWGP) to develop marketing communications materials and strategies to educate and engage the UW community in waste reduction efforts. A primary focus will be disseminating information relevant to the recently funded CSF project, The Denny Project: The Future of Waste at UW, where we studied the impact select waste diversion programs implemented in Denny Hall had on overall waste composition generated in the building.
• Research and write content for newsletters, articles, press releases and other relevant campus media
• Manage and update social media content and post regularly to UWGP and UW Recycling Facebook pages
• Assist with preparation for relevant campus events such as First-Year Orientation and the Sustainability Summit
• Assist with creative concept planning for educational campaigns and videos.
• Design posters, flyers, brochures, and other promotional materials related to the Denny Project
• Design qualitative survey gauging the effectiveness of the programs implemented during the Denny Project
• Take photos and manage photo library relevant to the Denny Project
• Build resource library and make connections with key campus partners and stakeholders interested in waste reduction initiatives
• Proficiency with InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, and Word
• Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
• Strong organizational skills and ability to manage competing deadlines and prioritize time accordingly
• Ability to work independently and on a wide variety of tasks simultaneously.
• A strong interest in sustainability
• Experience in editing and posting web pages and other social media sites is a plus
• Previous experience working in an office environment is a plus
In June of 2012, UWGP was born out of a class project I included in a "Principles of Archaeology" class I was teaching at UW. The idea was to get students in the class engaged with a hands-on example of how archaeology could be used to address issues relevant in the present and to the local community.
Emily Newcomer and UW Recycling came on board right away and have been great partners ever since, and students like Amy and Megan -- who have been with the project since the beginning -- have remained interested in keeping the project alive. It hasn't been easy, and we've had to re-invent the project every quarter, but now the project has picked up steam and is starting to take on a life of its own.
Getting to this point has been a fun process, and it has clearly also been a productive one, so we're going to pause for a moment to look back and reminisce before we carry onward. Here is a partial, ramshackle list of all we've accomplished over the last year:
Projects Completed/Ongoing (see the "Our Work" page for more details)
That's quite an impressive list for a single year's work by a bunch of volunteers (and it's not even the complete list!), so congratulations to all involved, and thanks for all your help over the past year. If every year is as productive as this one, UWGP may have a long life indeed.
...for taking the time to come to UW to talk with aspiring students, including aspiring garbologists. Your presence and perspectives were most helpful and welcome. Of course, the food you furnished from Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe was also welcome, so thanks again for being ideal guests.
And thanks to all those who attended the event (even though it was a beautiful Friday afternoon outside) and contributed to the lively discussion! Denny 401 was filled to the brim, and if/when we repeat this event in the fall we'll have to book a larger room so that all of you are a little more comfortable. Since we had about 40 guests (making it the most well-attended FAALS event of the academic year thus far), I think it likely we'll try to do this thing again sometime. So thanks again to all involved for helping to make this an event worth repeating.