Black Hawk College students and employees recently dug into dozens of bags of trash, sifting through 865 pounds by hand to find out what recyclables are ending up in the trash.
Every five years, the college is required by the State of Illinois to identify the kinds of waste generated on campus and how much of it is recyclable material.
Trash bags from the Quad-Cities Campus in Moline and the Outreach Center in East Moline were collected for five days. Volunteers then sorted the waste into categories, such as aluminum cans, cardboard, glass, landscape waste, magazines/newspapers, mixed paper and plastic bottles.
Of the 865 pounds the volunteers sorted, 76 pounds (or 8.8%) were recyclable in the college’s current program:
- Plastic bottles – 36 pounds
- Mixed paper – 19 pounds
- Aluminum cans – 14 pounds
- Cardboard – 4 pounds
- Magazines & newspapers – 3 pounds
As a result of the waste sort, the college is looking into ways to increase plastic bottle recycling on campus.