On Friday, members of the Environmental Sustainability Board (ESB) and Eco Station staff suited up in coveralls, gloves, hardhats and masks to sort through three to four tons of solid waste looking for items that could have been recycled instead. The goal was to quantify the amount and types of waste being generated.
“The reason we’re doing it is basically to help us plan for the future,” said Environmental Services Manager Angelica Gurule. “So by determining how much brush or food or recycle or cardboard it is, then we can target our audience better, like target the residents when we promote recycling cardboard.”
Gurule began with some instructions for the crew, including how to safely sort the trash to avoid injuries from such objects as syringes and broken glass. She summed up what to expect with “Basically, you just have to get dirty.”
A truck load of solid waste from a residential neighborhood in White Rock was set aside for the sort. A truck holds eight to 10 tons, but Gurule anticipated sorting three to four tons over the course of the day. In the first sort of this nature, conducted on March 25, workers got through 3.14 tons – the equivalent of approximately 100 households.