Bay Farm School teacher and Go Green Coordinator Michele Kuttner provides a periodic "Dumpster Data Report" via all-staff email to report progress and challenges related to the school's waste reduction efforts.
When Kuttner arrives in the morning that dumpsters are scheduled to be serviced by the hauler she makes a quick visual assessment and snaps a few pictures to document the total volume in the trash dumpster then sends a brief report to her colleagues.
Interested in starting your own Dumpster Data Report? Here's advice from Michele:
"I’m looking at two things: capacity and contamination. Just a quick peek at what I see looking into the dumpster tells me a lot.
Do I see a lot of paper towel waste in the landfill dumpster? Then, I know to remind staff & custodians that all paper towel waste should go in green bins.
Or food waste? Maybe I need to remind the food service/lunch staff that no food should go in the trash.
Is there evidence of plastic in the organics/green carts? Etc. I’m not doing any sorting or digging.
I’m also keeping an eye on how full our landfill dumpster is because I’m hoping to continue to reduce the size of that dumpster as we increase recycling/organics amounts.
I email the photos to myself. I don’t plan to do this every week but I may also forward the email photos with a quick report to staff.
I have also shared them with MOF if it looks like we have some problems created by sub custodians requesting they train them. The folks at MOF have told me they appreciate the pictures as evidence.
I made a folder on my computer called “Dumpster Data” . I date the photos and put them in that folder so I have a kind of photo history.
I would estimate it takes me less than 10 minutes each week. Since I’m the Go Green Coordinator at this school and our district encourages principals to include this position as part of the Teacher Major Duty List, this work is part of my 14 hours extra duty per year."