A Contamination Audit is when we sort through the 3-bins and collect data on how many things are being properly sorted and how much contamination still remains in the bins. This last contamination audit was very important as it showed how much better our school has gotten at sorting, it is the result of all of our hard work, time, and effort.
When coming into this audit our goal was trying to get other students who are interested in the environment and ultimately people who will be the interns for next year to come out and sort with us, for us to take over the role of leading the audit and guiding them through the process of what we do. Unfortunately, we were not able to get the word out as much as we would have liked because the week of our audit happened to also be the week of AP testing. We did end up having one person join us, and we lead ourselves through the process.
This last audit was a lot shorter than any of the others as we all knew exactly what each role needed to do and what the most efficient way to go about doing things. I felt more prepared going into this audit more than any other as I already had completed multiple other audits at this point. Our team has become more efficient and knowledgable about conducting waste or contamination audits.
Our major findings were that there was 4.3% contamination of the recycling, 16.7% contamination of the compost, 76% contamination of the landfill. While the contamination doesn’t matter as much for the landfill, it still has drastically changes from the beginning of the year when during our first audit 91% of the waste in the landfill could be put into another bin. Since the last audit the recycling contamination has dramatically dropped, from 23$ to 4.3% while the compost contamination has remained approximately the same, from 17% to 16.7%. Next year, I think the focus should be on properly sorting the compost as that still is over the contamination amount allowed.
Following our Contamination Meeting we had a meeting to write the report that can be shared with our partners, principle, school district, etc. Before we got started we had to of our fellow peers interview our team.
The girls interviewed Earth Team because they wanted more information about what we do and our points of view on litter around our campus. They were interviewing us for their “Taking Action Project” and needed comments by people. It felt weird being interviewed as an expert because they were only a few years younger than me but we had a lot of info to provide.
Thanks for reading!
LEADERSHIP I STEWARDSHIP I SERVICE