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What is in the trash?

In the summer I travelled through the West Coast of America with my boyfriend. It was a beautiful trip and we stayed at our friends’ and families homes, which was great, but what struck me was the amount of single-use plastic people were consuming. By drinking water from single-use plastic bottles or getting a lot of takeout single-use plastic food containers. While I was judging them, I questioned myself: Am I doing it any better at home? I like to call myself a conscious human being, but when I collected my single-use plastic waste of four weeks the result was shocking. I ended up with 60 litres, which is 720 litres a year produced by two people living together. Obviously, I had to make some changes and in only one month I managed to cut my single-use plastic by 66%.

At home I had managed to reach amazing results in reducing my waste but what about our school? The trash cans at Willem de Kooning Academy are ‘undemanding’. You throw everything into the same bin, except for paper – the school provides baskets for paper waste on every floor. Still, I was very curious if these boxes were used all the time. Therefore, I had analysed the waste that has been created in three days on the ground floor in Blaak building. By separating the trash I could physically visualise the data and see, how many litres of the trash was recyclable, compostable or is solid waste. Read more.