waste audit The Energize Colleges Program is in its third year at Skyline College, and ten student interns are working hard on community and campus energy and sustainability projects.

One project involves intern Marc Cirilo, who has coordinated and assisted in conducting a waste audit, focusing on Skyline College’s cafeteria waste. The goal of the waste audit is to educate students on real-time contamination and possible diversion of waste, as well as influencing a behavior change to reduce and recycle waste on campus.

The waste audit took place on April 9, 2019 in one of Skyline College’s loading docks. Over 25 students and community members participated in the waste audit, including Carla Grandy’s Environmental Earth Science class, members of the Sustainability Team at San Mateo County Community College District, and educators from San Mateo County Office of Sustainability.

The audit consisted of re-sorting waste correctly, weighing the waste, and compiling the data. Marc was able to analyze the data and concluded that approximately 82% of the waste stream was not sorted correctly and could have been diverted from the landfill, and only 18% was sorted correctly. Students and community members felt that the waste audit gave them valuable information regarding what items were to be recycled, composted, or thrown in the waste bins. Many felt empowered to educate and encourage their friends, families, and others about the importance of sorting waste items into the proper bins.

If you would like more information about the waste audit or about the Energize Colleges Program please contact Angie Gutierrez, Energize Colleges Program Coordinator at gutierreza@smccd.edu and Marc Cirilo at mcirilo@my.smccd.edu.

Article by Angie Gutierrez

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