The following graphs track our Recycling, Compost and Landfill/Trash production on a weekly basis throughout the 8 week competition. The graph bars for blue (recycling) and green (composting) represent the quantity in tons of diverted materials. The black bar represents the quantity in tons of trash that goes to the landfill. The yellow bar is the sum of the blue and green bars which allows one to compare the combined quantities of compost and recycling against the landfill/trash.
Our diversion rate is the amount/percentage of material we divert from the landfill via recycling and compost relative to our disposal of trash into the landfill). The more we can keep recyclable and compostable items from the trash and reduce the use of items that will become trash we can greatly increase our diversion rate.
In a recent audit of our trash compactor by Recology it was determined that our "trash" is mostly recyclable or compostable items that were thrown away. Remove these items, and only 10% of what we are throwing away are trash (e.g. items that cannot currently be recycled such as plastic films, wrappers, styrofoam, etc.).
As you can see from the image above, there are many items being thrown away as trash even in places such as this residence hall, where a compost disposal option is available on every floor.