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Beyond Diversion: Qualitative Data to Measure Zero Waste Efforts
May 23 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
Absence of a streamlined and holistic framework through which to measure and communicate waste reduction efforts has Zero Waste loosely defined among colleges and universities. This issue is aggravated by the reliance on diversion as a primary measurement tool, one that fails to capture aversion, reuse, repair, redesign, innovation, and student leadership. To address the gaps that exist in measuring waste reduction efforts, the Post Landfill Action Network has been working to develop what we are calling the Zero Waste Atlas program. To make this tool as useful to colleges and universities as possible, we would like to share our efforts with professionals in higher education sustainability, for the purpose of critical feedback and to offer an opportunity to engage more campuses in the program. By offering a waste reduction metric that captures the qualitative as well as the quantitative, we hope to assist campuses in setting more realistic and feasible waste reduction goals.
Chris Kane, Director of Research & Resource Development, Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN)
For the past 3 years, Chris (pronouns: he/him/his) has advised students and sustainability staff on the implementation waste reduction and diversion initiatives on their respective campuses, alongside researching and collating waste management best-practices into manuals, guides, and online trainings for the PLAN campus network. His interest in waste originated in his time as a student employee at the University of California Santa Cruz’s Sustainability Office. While earning his degree in Environmental Studies, he facilitated the implementation, education, and outreach of waste management programs ranging from campus wide waste audits to Zero Waste events, to align with the UC system-wide mandate of Zero Waste by 2020.
Alex Miller, Sustainability Program Coordinator, Carleton College
Alex Miller (pronouns: she, her, hers) is the Sustainability Program Coordinator at Carleton College. She was recently awarded the Jim Farrell award for Emerging Leaders by the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability and also sits on the City of Northfield Environmental Quality Commission. At home, Alex spends time with her senior dog-ter, Cindy, and enjoys achieving her goal of seeing all 50 states before 50. Alex is currently working on a zero waste atlas for Carleton with PLAN and developing a leadership model for the student workers in the sustainability office.