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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
Aguilar, Kelly, "A Study into the Disposable Products Stream in Smith College" (2004). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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