ELON UNIVERSITYNORTH CAROLINA
University Recycling & Waste Audit and Waste Reduction Master Plan
This project entailed two phases: (1) recyclables and waste composition audit and (2) waste reduction program analysis and master plan development.
The audit evaluated recyclables and waste generated at representative campus buildings (administration, residence halls, and academic) and a football game as identified by Elon staff. The university separates waste into three stream (recyclables, compostables, and landfill) each of which was sampled and sorted into defined material categories in order to average composition, recovery rates of recyclables and compostables, and level of contamination in those streams.
KCI worked closely with staff in developing the audit protocol and conducted all field work, preparing a baseline report that analyzed not only waste generation, but also the quantity of recyclable and compostable materials in the disposal stream. Analysis of this baseline data during Phase 2 allowed KCI to evaluate the performance of Elon’s waste reduction program, and integrate observations performed during an on-site operations assessment. KCI then identified comparable case studies of other academic institutions. Results of the analysis and research led to identification of recommendations and activities. After a thorough review with university staff, selected activities were organized into a strategic roadmap, the Elon University Solid Waste Reduction Master Plan, for improving their waste management system and increasing the diversion rate of materials to meet their overarching sustainability goals.