Whatcom Reduces Waste


Sustainability Committee representative, Blanche Bybee, along with student coordinator, Zeb Russell, and 65 other student volunteers, gathered outside of the Syre Student Center last Wednesday afternoon to participate in this year’s Spring quarter Waste Audit.

            The volunteers sorted through a day’s worth of trash from our campus to determine how much of what is being thrown into the garbage should be going into other waste containers, such as recycling and compost/food waste.

            Of the nearly 500 pounds of garbage sorted, 23 percent of it was in the correct place, compared to 12 percent from the fall audit.

“This is an improvement from previous waste audits,” said Bybee, who says that the ultimate goal is to get that number to 100 percent. “It’s really exciting to see that number take a big jump.”

Using the results from these audits, Whatcom is able to make informed decisions about reducing its landfill contribution and target their efforts to achieve maximum reductions.

A few projects have come together recently that may have factored into the improvement seen in the results from this audit, said Bybee. This includes the new signage, which clearly labels each waste receptacle.

            In addition to the student volunteers, Whatcom County’s Sanitary Service Company also donated their services at the audit. The locally-owned company provided waste toters and hauled away over 700 gallons of compost and recycling for free.

“They do this for every audit that we’ve done,” said Bybee. “Without their help, it’d be really difficult.”


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