1) Residents in McMahon Hall are currently diverting only about 27% of their waste away from landfills. This 27% is the lowest diversion rate UWGP has yet seen on campus, implying that residential spaces in UW dorms are sending proportionally more waste to landfills than other campus areas such as public/outside areas and buildings with classrooms, offices, and laboratories. In fact, this 27% is more than 30% below the campus-wide average, so it seems we have our work cut out for us in the dorms.
2) The majority (54%) of the waste McMahon Hall residents are sending to landfills is compostable. This fits with previous UWGP studies across the UW campus, showing once again that the single biggest improvement we can make with our waste efficiency is to compost more. Since composting is also cheaper than landfilling, "efficiency" in this case refers to both fiscal and environmental benefits.
3) There is no statistical difference between residential waste produced by upperclassmen and underclassmen. In other words, UW students don't seem to be learning to do a better job with UW's waste systems over time. We'll need to explore this result further, but for the present it implies that we need to do a better job communicating our waste systems with UW undergraduates as a whole. That's a tall order, but we at UWGP have some ideas on how to proceed.
For fall quarter we'll be augmenting this study with data from questionnaires administered to students. These questionnaires will be designed to help us measure the role of individuals' knowledge and perceptions of UW's waste systems. Hopefully this will give us a bit more of a read on where our current educational efforts can most effectively be improved. Until then, however, we'll just have to content ourselves with Megan's terrific work in McMahon Hall.