Data Collection: Oakland Tech Interns Conduct their first Contamination Waste Audit

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In November, Oakland Tech Earth Team interns learned how to conduct a waste audit. To kick the day off, the team used the 3-bin dolly’s to collect waste from all around campus and bring it to the audit site location.

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Students completed a hypothesis activity where they had to come to a group agreement on how much contamination they thought would be in each bin. The discussion was very fruitful and really required the group to talk things out and reason their own opinions.

Each individual had a unique role to play in the audit, with repeaters having an extra responsibility to ensure quality control of the sorting. There were sorters, weight collectors, frequency collectors and more.

Compost Contamination = 6% | Recycling Contamination = 58%

After analyzing the data to find the results, students were surprised to see such a high level of contamination in the recycling system. The group hypothesis’s that this might have been due to the heavy rains the day prior soaking recyclable items that were originally dry and clean. Either way, it was unanimous that the sorting of the recycling bin could improve.

The team is eager to continue education on campus in an effort to keep contamination rates low!


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