Masters Thesis

Landfill waste at Humboldt State University and beyond

In this thesis, I explore how landfill waste is a social and environmental problem, with cultural and political roots. I explore national and global issues of consumption and waste production using the framework of neoliberalism and ecological crisis (Chew 2002). I then analyze the landfill-bound waste of Humboldt State University in three phases: a waste audit, a student survey, and a study of best practices for signage. In my study, I found significant amounts of potentially divertible (compostable and recyclable) waste in landfill trash, and uncovered several barriers to recycling and composting. I provide recommendations to address the problems of compostable and recyclable waste being found in the landfill-bound waste stream at Humboldt State University, and provide both a literature review and examples of potential signage for future use by to the Sustainability Office and campus Dining Services. In my discussion, I explore what the individual can do in their daily life to ameliorate the problems of global massive waste creation and unsustainable waste disposal practices.

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