Green Team is Talking Trash

A few weeks ago, members of First Church?s Green Ministry Team were seen diving in the dumpster, recycling and green waste bins. This first annual waste audit was conducted with the goals of identifying how much of what kind of waste is generated by the First Church campus and evaluating how accurately the waste output is sorted in the three categories of green waste, recyclables and landfill waste.

Amazingly, we estimate that we are generating over 30,000 lbs, or fifteen tons, of waste every year.

The results show that the recycling and green waste bins are being well used; both were filled to capacity, 98% of what was found inside was the correct material, and we are diverting almost 10,000 lbs from the landfill annually. Bravo to the First Church community!

Waste Audit Bar GraphThe bar graph shows the weight of each category of trash found in each of the bins, and the overall total for the week.

The landfill dumpster, however, contained much more waste and a majority of it was recyclable or compostable. Our overall diversion rate is only 31%. The Green Team recommends a diversion rate of 70% for First Church, on the way to achieving Zero Waste, which would keep another 10,000 lbs of waste out of the landfill. To achieve that goal, we will all have to be attentive to the Recycle Rules (see story on the Green Ministry Team News page). Join in on our next meeting on January 14, 7:00-8:30 pm in the Sunburst Room. And thanks to these volunteers for their trash talk assistance: Tom Chia, Paul Chapman, Emma Fujii, Terry Jackson, Nancy Knop, Cynthia Lloyd, Annis Kukulan, Charlotte Russell, and Erin Steenblock.

Download a pdf version of the First Church 2012 Waste Audit to get the full story...