Students dig through nearly a ton of trash to set example

(WISH Photo/Jeff Wagner)
(WISH Photo/Jeff Wagner)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Butler campus got a little trashy Thursday morning, but that was all part of the plan.

Students from the Sustainability Practicum held a “trash audit” on the West Mall in order to show how much recycled material actually ends up in the garbage.

Piled high and out in the open, complete with a junkyard dog, the sweet scent of going green was in the air.

“Does not smell pleasant I would say,” said one student nearby.

The 600 pounds of garbage came courtesy of one of the dorms.

“This is one day’s worth of trash,” said Mckenzie Beverage, Butler Sustainability Coordinator.

It was put on display as a grimy, stomach churning example of how much gets tossed away when much of it shouldn’t have.

“It’s a shame,” said student Tiera Patterson, as she dug through a trash bag. “We have to sift through this in order to get what could be recycled when they could have done it you know, themselves, just if they had known.”

Sifting through bag after bag, students and volunteers discovered all the college staples; pizza boxes, coffee cups, and what some called “party leftovers.”

“Listen to it,” joked one student as she shook a bag filled with beer bottles.

The confused looks from those passing by were expected.

“It’s an awareness tactic just right around Earth Day which is on April 22,” said Beverage.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to educate students and people on campus how to recycle so that we don’t have as many recyclables in the trash.”

Another 1,200 pounds of trash was searched Thursday afternoon, bringing the total to nearly a ton.

Anything recyclable was taken to a recycling plant, but some of those items will be saved for an art project for an anthropology class. Beverage said the leftover trash would be taken away to be incinerated.

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