I took a couple hours out of my afternoon to volunteer at work to do a trash audit today. The buildings I work in are LEED certified. In order to remain LEED certified there is an annual audit on the trash removal. The audit involves sorting through all the trash collected from the previous day. This doesn't include cardboard, paper, and recycling (plastic, glass, and metal) that was also collected (separate of the trash). Fortunately for me, the four other volunteers, and the five employees of our facility group, we only had to go through 25% of the trash because of the number of employees at our site.
It wasn't fun, but it was somewhat interesting. The results? Of the 853.5 lbs (25% of the total) of trash we sorted we removed 131 lbs of items that could have been properly placed in another waste stream (cardboard, paper, and mostly cans and bottles). Not bad, but definite room for improvement. If only we could start composting; so many banana peels!
Oh, Happy Earth Day!