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Observations from Welcome Celebration 2023

Posted by Daphne Hulse on August 18, 2023


  • DIA deployed all of their blue drums, and it was in excess, compared to the available recycling
  • ~21 bottles and cans bin were deployed
  • 10 volunteers were present, guarding about half of the bins
  • Blue bags were used to line the bins (as opposed to black). This is crucial for Waste Transfer Station operations
  • Dining Services and volunteers of the event assisted with emptying the recycling bins when they were full
  • Bags were tied and placed into the roll-off container at the end of Lot 31
  • At the end of the event (about an hour later) volunteers tied bags and rounded up all of the bins, placing them near the roll-off container
  • Jen Fraterrigo made the comment that there were no recycling bins around the tabling areas (but there were a lot of DIA blue drums), so recycling wasn't happening here. Students would bring their bottles over from the food area and go to tables. They need a recycling outlet in this area, too


  • Dining Services made 1-2 PA about recycling during the event
  • The bins had lids for the top (some of which you could not see into, some of them you could). If the bins had confusing messaging such as, "CANS ONLY" students were less likely to place bottles. It helped to take the lid off, and let students see a pile of bottles in the bin (normalizing a social behavior)
  • All of the bins had messaging on the sides saying "bottles and cans" but messaging on the side is not highly viewed by students (it would help to have messaging on top)
    • Our 20 new Coca-Cola bins have good messaging, and bottles and cans cutouts on top
  • The way the bin lids open, anything could be placed in them. We didn't see a ton of contamination, but there was some (specifically at unguarded bins). If we use bottle and can cutouts (as the Coke bins have been designed) that would emphasize what product we want recycled
  • It was absolutely necessary to constantly remind incoming students that we recycle bottles and cans, otherwise they ended up in the general trash cans. Volunteers would sort through the trash bins as was reasonably possible


  • Our volunteers were amazing! It would be beneficial to have double next year (around 20) to adequately cover the area
  • Be Orange Go Green volunteer shirts really helped volunteers stand out

Diversion Rate

  • Volunteers did a good job routing plastic bottles to the recycling bins, but there is a lot of food waste that goes on here (post-consumer). It would be beneficial to separate food waste from regular waste from recycling...
  • Can we grind to energy the food waste?