June 21-July 12, 2002
Back Issues
U.Va. offers to share traffic costs
Job talk -- myths and realities
Don’t bring your trash to work
To the point -- with David Evans
Students create Rotunda mosaic

U.Va., World Wildlife Fund sign agreement

In Memoriam
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Dante Germino dies in train accident
Season tickets available
Employees: How to get back to school
After Hours -- Gayle Noble
Study discovers effects of exercise in women on HRT

Don’t bring your trash to work

For Official UVA Use Only By Anne Bromley

Recently, 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.

“Some people seem to think it’s a perk of working at U.Va.,” said Dennis Clark, director of recycling in the Division of Recoverable and Disposable Resources. “We’ve got a major problem here.”

His 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.

The 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.

What 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.

In addition to calling faculty and staff whose trash they have identified, Clark’s 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.

If these measures don’t work, the receptacles will have to be locked, he said.

U.Va. 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.

The 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.

Although it’s 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.”


© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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