The seventh annual dumpster dive took place on Wednesday, July 18th this year and started late in the afternoon. It was my first ever dumpster dive, and although I am not eager to do it again anytime soon, it was definitely enlightening.
The weather was perfect – it was cloudy and cool all day and then the sun came out in the late afternoon so the garbage didn’t have a chance to sunbathe. Lucky for us!
Our dumpster dive participants this year were myself (Maria – Sustainability Coordinator), our Canadian VP of Sales and Marketing Doug Climie, and our Director of Products and Service Development Barb Mallin. The three of us had one week’s worth of waste to go through. Luckily, we recently changed waste providers so we had a brand new bin to jump into. Well, actually, Doug had a new bin to jump into. Thanks for doing the dirty work Doug – you were such a trooper!
All of the contents were removed from the bin, sorted into categories and then weighed. As we conducted the dive the day before our scheduled pick-up, the bin contained 6 days of waste. The total weight this year was 267 pounds and contained the following:
As was the case last year, we found 70 pounds of outside household wood waste. It appeared to be a dismantled cupboard of some sort. Fortunately, our waste management provider does collect wood products for recycling, but we are researching ways to increase security.
Also, because of the amount of mixed paper and organics we found we will re-issue our recycling policy to each department, confirm our cleaning staff are refreshed with proper disposal protocols and increase the number of recycling receptacles available to all staff.
Has your company performed a waste audit? Give it a try; you may find some things that surprise you about the waste stream. And remember, when you throw something “away” it goes somewhere – so be mindful and aware of what you throw “away.”
Thank you to Doug and Barb for your help this year. See you again next year! Happy dumpster diving everyone.