At waste audits, volunteers sort through trash and recycling bags to “audit” a building’s waste streams. Recyclable items, compostable items, and items for trash disposal are all weighed from each bag for a snapshot of how waste in that building is disposed of, including what could have been diverted from trash, and how much contamination was present in the recycling and compost streams. Volunteers also record qualitative results by noting common contaminants and opportunities for diversion. Waste audits are a great way to involve peers or coworkers in waste education efforts!
Freecycles are reuse events where community members can bring items they no longer need, and can also browse for "new” items! These are often held within individual departments or Schools, but community-wide Freecycles are held periodically throughout the academic year.
Have a broken item that shouldn’t be thrown away just yet? Fixit Clinics bring together people with items that need fixing with “fixers” who can help diagnose, and hopefully fix, the problem! These events prevent unnecessary landfill waste by extending items’ use, and help contribute to a culture of reuse on campus. They are held virtually and in-person periodically throughout the academic year.
Reach out to the Department Contacts listed above if you are interested in hosting one of these events with our support. If you would like to be informed of the next Freecycle or Fixit Clinic, subscribe to the Harvard Recycling newsletter here.