Davidson Library is providing 100 additional recycling bins this quarter to increase its trash diversion efforts and help students limit their garbage.
Green Project Consultants conducted a waste audit of the facility on March 4 and found that 37 percent of trash collected from the library over three days contained misplaced recyclable materials. The campus plans to implement several of the audit’s recommendations such as posting recycling material guidelines near garbage receptacles and limiting organic and biodegradable materials that are sent directly to landfills.
Assistant University Librarian Brian Mathews said the containers will facilitate recognition of the recycling effort within the building.
“We found that convenience was a deciding factor, as students would typically dump their trash into the first trash bin they could find,” Mathews said. “In other words, it wasn’t easy for them to recycle because there were not enough bins around the Davidson library.”
Groups including UCSB Campus Design and Facilities, UCSB Library’s Sustainable Actions Needed Everywhere Committee, Associated Students Recycling and Associated Students Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability (P.A.C.E.S.) collaborated to provide the recycling bins, which are located next to standard trash receptacles.
Executive Officer in the Department of Geography Mo Lovegreen said the administration is streamlining its trash collection process to reduce misplaced garbage throughout the university.
“The plan is to standardize recycling across the entire campus so no matter what building you are in, it is easy to identify and use,” Lovegreen said. “We will need everyone’s help putting things in the proper container in order to meet this goal.”
Mathews said the additional containers are part of the campus-wide effort toward greater sustainability.
“We’re hoping that this will improve the situation and that more students choose to participate in the sustainability effort,” Mathews said. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible to encourage this behavior. Similar bins can be found in other locations around campus so hopefully recycling will become second nature.”
Additionally, Green Project Consultants advised the administration to develop a compost system for food-related materials, which constitute 20 percent of total waste. P.A.C.E.S. will provide a presentation on May 17 in Davidson Library regarding the bins and further sustainability projects.
A.S. Special Program Adviser Tuyen Nguyen said the association works alongside several campus organizations to develop the environmentally friendly efforts.
“We collaborate with the UCSB Sustainability effort by working with various departments on campus and supporting any efforts that are on going to reduce waste on campus,” Nguyen said.