Brown College has been a pilot for a new trash initiative that Housing and Dining is hoping to expand to the rest of the colleges. Before the pilot program, students would place their trash cans outside their door in the hallway, and H&D would come and collect it in the morning — no matter how full or empty the garbage was. Most of the waste then would come from empty bags. Thus, a new initiative was born. Now, students are tasked with taking their trash out to the central trash room on their floors. They can collect a bag from the room to replace it the old one. This way people are more likely to take their trash out when it was full.
Sophomores Grace Wickerson, Kathy Yu, and Tracy Tse led the initiative to help reduce waste. H&D came to them with the idea for a new trash system where students would only throw out their trash once full. The girls picked out central collection bins, while H&D created specific rooms for the trash collection. They needed to consider bins that would be removable and how they would distribute garbage bags. They also had to think about the potential smell from having the trash room and student opinion.
“A challenge is always just lazy college students,” Yu said. She has heard people complain about how having their trash taken out for them was the “one thing they wanted in college.”
However, the initiative has also won support. Freshman Roger Wang believes that it is a more efficient solution. He also appreciates that it makes the H&D staff’s job easier.
The initiative has generally been successful, with people not minding taking their own trash out. It has increased recycling rates and reduced the burden on H&D. It has also made the hallways much less unsightly. Going forward, North Operations Manager Derrix Norman has plans to bring it to all colleges.