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Trash-In and Earth Day 2012
The University and UW Recycling host a month of earth-friendly campus events.
By Cherilyn Winkler

UW Trash-In

ESS TeamApril 11th was an exciting day here at UW Recycling! Our annual UW Trash-In event took place on Red Square and was a victory for campus waste reduction.

Students, staff, and other members of the UW community gathered to sort through trash collected from eight campus buildings and explore the way we waste. This year had the largest volunteer turnout ever and the effects of this effort can be seen in the amazing results.

Volunteers sorted more than 1,200 pounds of garbage into five categories:

  • Compostables (including food scraps and compostable serviceware items)
  • Mixed Paper (including cardboard)
  • Mixed Containers (including cans, bottles, plastic dairy tubs, aseptic packaging, and non-compostable cups)
  • Other (including Styrofoam, e.Media, plastic film, and Surplus items)
  • Garbage

Trash-InOur objective in hosting this event is to increase campus-wide awareness about the content and effectiveness of the campus waste and recycling streams. The new location also allowed us to reach a wider student audience and increase educational awareness about what is thrown out on campus.

We found that, of the waste collected, 51% was compostable, 29% was garbage, and 20% was mixed recyclables. These results are consistent with the previous two UW Trash-In events and illustrate that our waste diversion programs are continuing to reliably operate.

UW Trash-In would not be possible without the effort of our volunteers and campus partners, including Custodial Services and the Office of Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of Trash-In 2012!

UW Earth Day

UW FarmThe UW’s annual Earth Day celebration took place on April 20, 2012, in Red Square. UW Recycling participated in the planning, along with other campus groups including Earth Club, SEED, Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office, UW Housing and Food Services, and Program on the Environment.

Earth Day coincided with the University’s 150th anniversary celebration and HuskyFest event, making Red Square an exciting venue!

Students, faculty, staff, and community members came together to celebrate environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts on the UW campus. Groups and departments setup booths to spread the word about their mission, educate others about their area of environmental focus, and encourage others to get involved.

The day was filled with events which included an exhibitor fair, keynote speaker, presentation of the Husky Green Awards, a solar-powered concert, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new solar-powered waste kiosks.

Sierra ClubThe Keynote Speaker for Earth Day was Sarah Hodgdon, Conservation Director for the Sierra Club. In her role, Sarah oversees the organization's national campaigns and programs, including the Beyond Coal, Beyond Oil, and Resilient Habitats campaigns. She also manages the organization's federal lobbyists, organizers, and lawyers as well as the programs dedicated to partnerships with labor, environmental justice groups, and youth.

Other speakers featured during the events included Lisa Graumlich, Dean of the College of the Environment, and Michael Young, President of the University of Washington. The celebration culminated with the presentation of the 2012 Husky Green Award presented by Ruth Johnston, Associate Vice President, Finance & Facilities. The Husky Green Award recognizes our peers who have shown leadership, initiative, and dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability at the University of Washington.

Six of fourteen nominees were chosen as award recipients for the 2011-2012 academic year:

Justin Hellier, graduate student, Evans School of Public Affairs and College of Forest Resources
Katie Stultz, senior, Community, Environment & Planning major, Campus Sustainability Fund Student Engagement Coordinator

Dean Pearson, Gardener Lead, Intercollegiate Athletics
Storm Hodge, Assistant Director, Housing and Food Services

Washington Student Athlete Advisory Council
Patio Display Garden Team, UW Tower Green Team

Photos by Alex Credgington

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Earth Day