Inspired by Earth Day and in preparation for next year, Alameda Community Learning Center conducted a comprehensive waste audit to learn what is in one week's worth of their trash. EarthTeam educator Jamilah Bradshaw provided scales, bins, gloves, aprons, goggles and leadership for the event.
On Friday, April 20, EarthTeam presented to Patricia Williamson's 5th period Environmental Science class, which included two seniors who have decided on devising and implementing a recycling program at their school for their final project.
Later that day, joined by Molly Fenn's Leadership class, the learners conducted a waste audit. Having 22 bags of trash to sort through, they found an overwhelming majority of their waste stream was paper (55.5 lbs)!
Audit results from the 105.5 pounds of waste sorted:
- 55.5 pounds of paper
- 21.5 pounds of food scraps
- 21 pounds destined for landfill
- 4 pounds of plastic
- 2.5 pounds of metal
- 1 pound of glass
Learners were surprized to discover a functioning stapler, classroom books and half eaten muffins in the trash.
On Monday, April 23, EarthTeam facilitated an Action-Planning session with Patricia's Environmental Science learners and Molly's Leadership learners. The learners reviewed the waste audit and their reactions to it, looked at their waste audit photographs and their pie chart, discussed the culture of disposability, and worked in groups to prepare mind-maps regarding waste reduction problems and solutions.