Western raises bar with ‘zero waste’ plan

Endorses student-led drive to change campus habits

By Alan Wartes

Picture the “W” on Tenderfoot Mountain — covered more than four feet deep in garbage. According to a recently completed waste audit at Western, that’s what you could do with the volume of trash generated on campus in a single academic year — an estimated 634,000 pounds of it in just 32 weeks. The more important number, however, and one that has grabbed the attention of students, faculty and university administrators alike, is 76. Th at’s the percentage of that waste headed straight to the landfill each year — meaning only 24 percent is currently “diverted” by programs aimed at reducing, reusing and recycling the material.

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