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Florenceville

Elementary School:
Waste Audit Summary

May 8th, 2014
The Gaia Project
270 Rookwood Ave
Fredericton, NB
E3B 2M2

1 (506) 442-9030
www.thegaiaproject.ca
contact@thegaiaproject.ca

Florenceville Elementary School: Waste Audit Summary
A summary of the results from the waste audit conducted on May 8th, 2014.

Copyright 2014 The Gaia Project. Last updated on May 13th, 2014.
Commercial reproducton of The Gaia Project materials is prohibited without prior writen permission

The Gaia Project is a charitable organizaton whose mission is to empower youth to make informed deci-
sions about energy and its impact on the environment.
We develop projects, provide professional development, technical support and ongoing project support for
teachers and students. Our projects aim to incorporate three key principles, which symbolise our focus on
realistc environmentalism.
1. Data-Informed Decisions We want students to be able to explain why, and quantfy the efect of
each decision they made along the way to their fnal soluton.
2. Economic Assessments We expect students to be able to assess the cost efectveness of their so-
lutons, and be able to optmize their projects with limited budgets.
3. Environmental Impact and Lifecycle Assessments We need students to take a holistc view to their
projects. This means looking at their projects from cradle to grave, as opposed to just examining the
use phase, and acknowledging that greenhouse gas reducton is not the only environmental issue at
stake.
For more informaton, please visit www.thegaiaproject.ca
The Gaia Project
270 Rookwood Avenue
Fredericton, NB
E3B 2M2
Canada

1 (506) 442-9030
contact@thegaiaproject.ca


This project was supported by donatons and grants from:
The McCain Foundaton
Environment Canadas EcoActon Program
New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government Environmental Trust Fund





Front Cover Credits
Wheelie BinsCaledonia Lane photo by Geof Wilson under a Creatve Commons BY-ND 2.0 Licence
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Overview
The Gaia Project and Florenceville Elementary
School collaborated on an audit of the schools
waste on May 8th, 2014. Florenceville
Elementary Schools Gaia Club students,
along with Ms. Poirier and Ms. Carmichael,
have been working on frstly examining the
schools waste and subsequently looking for
ways to reduce the schools overall waste
footprint.
An inital audit of the schools waste was done
on October 18th, 2012approximately one
and a half years earlier and this audit was a
follow-up. The process and results are detailed
within this report, including a comparison of
the results from October 2012 to May 2014.
All photos are courtesy of Sylvie Poirier and
Valerie Carmichael.
The Process
For the current waste audit, the custodial staf
collected all of the garbage at the school on
May 6th, bagged it and placed it outside for us.
Sorting categories
We decided on 6 sortng categories:
Paper & Cardboard
Recyclable plastcs
Milk Cartons
Compost
Garbage
Returnable Drink Containers

The waste audit done in October 2012 included
a category for metals, which the Gaia Club
students decided to change to Milk Cartons for
this audit. The reason for this was because very
litle metal was observed in the 2012 audit, and
students thought that milk cartons would be
more abundant in the garbage.
Weighing and Sorting
Afer deciding on our 6 sortng categories, Gaia
Club students were provided with gloves,
divided into teams and provided with a kit of
supplies.
Before any bags were opened, the weight of
each bag was recorded so that the startng
amount of waste was known and could be
checked against the fnal amount.

Weighing each bag before sortng
Group Hard Core sortng the garbage

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Groups then opened the bags and sorted its
contents.
We subsequently weighed the contents of each
sortng category at the end of the audit. The
data from each group was entered into an excel
spreadsheet so that we could build a picture of
how much waste the school produces in a day
from each of the 6 sortng categories.
Results
The total weight of waste collected from 1
typical school day was approximately 10 kg.
The estmated total weight from one day in
October 2012 was 19 kg, representng a 9 kg or
46% reducton over the year and a half since
the inital audit. While there are many
variables that havent been controlled for, this
46% reducton in overall waste may indeed
represent a signifcant overall reducton in
waste at the school!
May 2014: 10 kg total waste
October 2012: 19 kg total waste
9 kg, or 46% reducton when comparing
October 2012 to May 2014
You can fnd the actual weight from each
sortng category (our raw data) in Table 1 in the
Appendix. The proporton of waste in each
category can be seen in the pie chart below.
As a comparison, the percentage per category
from October 2012s waste audit is included
below (you can fnd the data in Table 2 of the
appendix).

Included below is a comparison graph, which
compares the amount of total waste per
category from October 2012 to May 2014 and
highlights the categories that have increased or
decreased.
Finally, the amount of waste collected and
sorted into each category has been projected
forward to provide an estmate of the waste
produced on an annual basis. Assuming 190
school days in a year, Florenceville Elementary

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School produces approximately 1,900 kg of
waste annually.
Assuming 220 students that regularly atend
Florenceville Elementary School, each student
produces approximately 0.05 kg of waste per
day, and 10 kg annually.
Summary
Through the process of measuring how much
and what type of waste Florenceville
Elementary School produces, it was discovered
that on May 7th, 2014:
36% of the waste could have been
recycled. This includes paper, cardboard,
milk cartons & other drink containers,
and recyclable plastc.
34% of the waste was compostable
material.
30% of the waste was actual garbage that
needed to be there.
Paper
Comparing the amount of paper in the garbage
from October 2012 (3.8 kg) to May 2014 (1.7
kg), there has been a 55% decrease in the
amount of paper put into the waste stream.
From this waste audit comparison, we can
assume that, on average, between 15-20% of
the total waste is paper.
Recyclable Plastics
Comparing the amount of recyclable plastcs in
the garbage from October 2012 (2.5 kg) to May
2014 (0.7), there has been a 72% decrease in
the amount of recyclable plastcs put into the
waste stream.
It would be safe to conclude that approximately
5-15% of Florenceville Elementarys waste is
recyclable plastcs.
Compost
Comparing the amount of paper in the garbage
from October 2012 (8.8 kg) to May 2014 (3.5),
there has been a 60% decrease in the amount
of compost put into the waste stream.
Compost represents a large share of the total
waste generated at Florenceville Elementary
(3550%). The schools compostng program,
initated since the last audit in October 2012,
has reduced the amount of compost being put
into the waste stream by over 60%.
Garbage
There was not much of a change from the
October 2012 waste audit and the May 2014
waste audit in terms of the amount of actual

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garbage produced (3.1 kg and 2.9 kg
respectvely). Between 15% and 30% of the
schools total waste is garbage, and actually
needed to go to the landfll. If the school was
to contnue to reduce, recycle and compost,
there is stll potental to reduce the schools
overall annual waste from 1,900 kg to ~600 kg.
Through this audit, we observed a great
improvement from the 3,700 kg produced
annually in 2012! With further reductons, each
student would only generate 3kg of waste at
the school annually, compared to the ~10kg
produced per student per year currently, or the
17 kg produced per student annually from the
2012 audit.
Recommendations
Afer the waste audit was completed, the Gaia
Project along with the Gaia Club and Ms.
Poirier, brainstormed ideas around reducing the
amount of waste produced at Florenceville
Elementary School. These recommendatons
are presented below:
Compostng:
Conduct another student led
presentaton to re-introduce the compost
bins and system to the rest of the school.
Place compost bins in the stafroom,
kitchen and ofce.
Recycling:
Place a full set of bins in each classroom
covering all categories.
Create signs with pictures detailing what
can be recycled to make it easy and fun.
Create generally bigger signs.
Paper:
Place paper recycling bins in each
classroom.
Encourage the re-use of paper by
fnishing any stories youve started (or
saving them for later), using both sides,
using scraps to draw on, and saving
printer mistake paper.
Milk Cartons:
Designate an appropriate place where
excess chocolate milk can be disposed.
Have announcements about how milk
cartons can be re-used such as for
plantng seeds, making bird feeders, or
other crafs.

General:
Place a bin in each classroom for pen/
pencil re-use.
Encourage people to bring their lunch in
re-usable containers.
Conclusion
The Gaia Project was very impressed with the
sustainability initatves under way at
Florenceville Elementary School, especially its
highly efectve compostng program that has
helped reduce the amount of waste generated

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daily by 46%! We consider the school to be a
model in data-informed decision making to
reduce the schools overall environmental
footprint.
Congratulatons on a job well done Florenceville
Elementary School!
Contact Us
The Gaia Project is very interested in supportng
waste reducton and other energy-related
initatves at Florenceville Elementary School in
any that we can. The students, staf and
administraton at Florenceville Elementary
School are leaders, and I look forward to seeing
what the school does next!





Miles Gof, Technical & Program Ofcer
miles.gof@thegaiaproject.ca
www.thegaiaproject.ca
1 (506) 442-9030

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Table 1. Weight (kg) per sortng category, May 2014
Table 2. Weight (kg) per sortng category, October 2012
Appendix
Group
Returnable
Drink Contain-
ers (kg)
Milk Car-
tons (kg)
Recyclable
Plastcs (kg)
Paper & Card-
board (kg)
Compost
(kg)
Gar-
bage
(kg)
Total
(kg)
Falcons 0.0 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.1 0.3 2.2
Purple Falcons 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.7 0.6 0.3 2.4
Hardcore 0.0 0.2 0.1 0.2 1.4 1.6 3.6
Grade 3 Girls/ 0.0 0.3 0.1 0.6 0.4 0.6 2.0
Total 0.3 0.9 0.7 1.7 3.5 2.9 10.1
Sortng Class Daily (kg) Annual (kg)
Returnable Drink Containers 0.37 72
Metals 0.25 484
Recylable Plastcs 2.48 739
Paper & Cardboard 3.79 739
Compost 8.81 1718
Garbage 3.12 608
Total 18.8 3670
Table 2. Weight (kg) per sortng category, October 2012