The Renewable Energy Association and other environmental student organizations are hosting Waste Awareness Week to highlight the consequences of global waste mismanagement. Events take place Monday through Friday and include movie screenings, workshops and an art exhibition.
Chirine Chidiac, REA programming committee member and third-year civil engineering student, said each day of Waste Awareness Week will have a theme such as world waste knowledge and waste at UCLA. REA and 10 other sustainability organizations will hold workshops on specific aspects of the UCLA Zero Waste by 2020 campaign Wednesday.
E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity, an environmental group on campus, will host a workshop on alternatives to common single-use items such as plastic and paper utensils. The campaign will also be hosting a do-it-yourself deodorant, toothpaste and dry shampoo activity Thursday, said Andrew Jarvis, co-chair of E3’s Zero Waste Campaign and a fourth-year international development studies and geography student.
Chidiac said measures such as using three-stream disposal bins that separate recyclable, landfill and compostable waste and hosting collaborative student events like the Waste Awareness Week could reduce waste. However, she added it may still be difficult to eliminate 100 percent of landfill waste because certain materials cannot be recycled or composted.
“By the time the deadline of the goal happens, I think that we will at least achieve zero waste to landfills,” Chidiac said. “It’s very difficult because there are some mixed materials that are either not recyclable or compostable. … The whole idea is to divert as much waste as possible from landfills.”
Jarvis said the goal was not to produce zero waste but to reduce the amount of campus waste that goes to landfills to 10 percent by 2020. “That means that trash is either going to recycling, compost or other recycling facilities and 10 percent is going to landfill. Very little waste that is actually produced should be going to the landfill,” Jarvis said. “There’s so much waste that is compostable or recyclable, especially with food waste.”