bring your trash to work
By Anne Bromley
Facilities Management worker Sonny Beale watched as a man
drove up and stopped his car near a U.Va. trash bin, taking a
couple of full garbage bags out of his trunk. Beale cautioned
the man that it was illegal to bring his trash there, to which
the man replied, I know, and threw it in the container
anyway. Beale later found out the person is on the faculty.
people seem to think its a perk of working at U.Va.,
said Dennis Clark, director of recycling in the Division of Recoverable
and Disposable Resources. Weve got a major problem
staff conducted an audit of the 180 trash bins on Grounds at the
end of the spring semester and estimated that 20 percent of their
contents was home-generated. They also found a lot
of material that could be recycled, said Beale, director of operations.
staff members are familiar enough with the kinds of waste generated
by the University that they can tell the difference by the types
of bags and the amounts of them in certain locations. Spot-checking
confirmed their suspicions that some people are bringing their
trash to work.
might seem like a small thing dumping a trash bag or two
from home added about $100,000 this past year to U.Va.s
waste disposal charges, Clark estimated. Such action could be
considered illegal dumping or theft of services, he said.
addition to calling faculty and staff whose trash they have identified,
Clarks employees are posting signs on trash receptacles
asking people not to dump private household material. Notices
about the problem also are being sent to U.Va. schools and offices.
these measures dont work, the receptacles will have to be
locked, he said.
generates more than 8,000 tons of waste annually, which costs
approximately $90 per ton to haul and dump in landfills. About
5,000 more tons are recycled. Besides helping the environment
and saving trees, recycling saves U.Va. money more than
$200,000 last year.
cost of throwing away trash is only going to increase, said Clark.
The Rivanna Solid Waste Authority just raised the dumping fee
to $51 per ton, so when U.Va.s waste disposal contract comes
up in 2004, the costs will increase.
its necessary to crack down on the problem, Clark and his
staff are more interested in everyone doing the right thing, he
said. People need to be responsible.