To access this work you must either be on the Smith College campus OR have valid Smith login credentials.

On Campus users: To access this work if you are on campus please Select the Download button.

Off Campus users: To access this work from off campus, please select the Off-Campus button and enter your Smith username and password when prompted.

Non-Smith users: You may request this item through Interlibrary Loan at your own library.

Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

EVS 300


Environmental Science and Policy


disposable products, solid waste stream, elimination, recycling, purchasing


Waste accumulation is an issue that the world population faces in the 21st century and one that is increasing exponentially. With increased demands from populations for governments to find a solution, many environmentalists are turning to institutions to determine the best course of action. Smith College is a leading liberal arts institution that prides itself in being the forefront of women’s education and progress. However, in sustainability Smith is behind in comparison to other schools and requires massive overhauls, to achieve similar levels. While radical changes need to occur within the institutions prioritization towards environmentalism some changes can be implemented now that would provide some relief to the increasing cost of waste transportation on campus. One potential outlet we studied was the use of disposable products (paper cups, plates, napkins, plastic utensils, and bowls). We completed an in-depth survey through Dining Services and individual dining halls to determine the amount of disposable products used. This allowed us to determine what the best course of action was in terms of elimination, recycling, or purchasing. We also looked at other institutions to determine how effective their waste policies were in comparison to Smith College. Overall, current disposable products used on campus are extremely harmful to the environment and provide equal or more cost to the college. In contrast, other options create little to no waste.


© 2004 Aguilar


Project completed in partnership with Caitlin Gossett.