January 08, 2016

Waste Audit

Jackman's Waste Audit

Waste minimization is on everyone's mind.   As citizens of a fragile world, we need to constantly ask ourselves, "What can we do to reduce the waste that we create?"  

At Jackman, it all begins with a waste audit.  We save a whole day's garbage for an thorough investigation.  

Bag by bag, we sort through the trash to find out what's really there.   It's a messy job, but someone's got to do it.  

We sort the trash into these 5 categories: 
  •  What should have been recycled,
  •  What should have been reused,
  •  Food waste (what should have been eaten, or composted),
  •  Paper Towel,
  •  Real Garbage (a.k.a Landfill)
So here's the moment we've all been waiting for... the most recent waste audit results.  The good news... we have less garbage than ever!   Just 21.2 kg!    That's down from 31.36 kg last year.    Way to go Jackman!  Impressive reductions!   But wait, that doesn't mean we're off the hook.   There's still more reductions to be made.   Jackman's Eco Team will use this data to create waste reduction projects.   Here's a peek at the 'nitty-gritty' of this year's waste audit.

Recyclable (2.47 kg - actually, more than last year)
  • various papers (these are so easy to recycle - there’s no excuse)
  • 1 Coke can and 2 Iced Tea cans (yikes... how did that happen?  no excuse)
  • 15 juice boxes! (straws go in the garbage and empty juice boxes recycled - it's not hard)
  • various food containers (plastic and styrofoam) and some plastic cups too
  • various bags (these can now be recycled in Toronto - guessing everyone hasn’t read the memo)
  • dead markers (we collect these and take them to Staples for recycling)
  • 1 Pringles can  (yes, even it can be recycled)
Food Waste (5.3 kg, - that a lot less than last year)
  • many unopened snacks & candy (how did they end up in the garbage?)
  • some bread, crackers, chips, half eaten sandwiches
  • fruit - carrots, grapes, apples, pears (these should have been eaten or composted.)
  • fruit scraps - banana peels, orange peels, apple cores (these should have been composted)
  • some uneaten lunch, and not just kid lunches
Paper Towels (including tissues & other soiled papers)  (5.52kg)
  • LOTS of paper towels... and I mean LOTS
  • and the ‘paper towel of shame’ - almost 7 m long!  - yikes!   that’s got to be the longest paper towel ever wasted in the history of Jackman school
Real Garbage - a.k.a. LANDFILL (7.42kg )
  • LOTS of snack wrappers... and I mean LOTS (seems like more than last year)
  • 12 coffee cups (hmmm, this is more than last year too)
  • gum (apparently, Jackman kids are obsessed with gum)
  • other non-recyclable packaging
  • Riso photocopy carbons
  • many latex gloves
Reusables (0.46kg)
  • lots of plastic spoons and forks (should have been washed and reused)
  • pencils, erasers, markers, glue sticks (likely left on the floor at the end of the day and swept up)
  • plastic food containers (should have been washed and reused)
  • small toys, a mitten, a bracelet, a whistle
And surprisingly...
No Underwear this year... just one stinky diaper