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Environmental Science Essay Sample

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Environmental Science Essay Sample

Waste management has gained much popularity these days as it is seen as an effective way of minimizing the threat of pollution to our environment. It is however a fact of life that as consumers we are responsible for the rapid increase of waste in our communities. Often times people deny that they contribute to the tons of waste we dump or burn everyday, thus in this research, the trash bins of student residence halls in the college have been audited for a period of three weeks, in this way the researcher can determine the types of waste usually accumulated by the students and the amount of each waste in the thrash bins. In so doing, the researcher can identify the types of wastes students have and how it can affect the environment.

The residence halls audited in this study are Clayhill 1, Clayhill 2, Kingston Hill, Middle Mill, Seethingwells BSC and Seethingwells MSC. The data was gathered through inspecting the types and amount of each waste in the regular black trash bin bags in the halls for a period of 3 weeks. It was important that the audit should be for 3 weeks so as to establish the regularity of the waste disposing behavior of students. The amount of each type of waste was reported in percentages.

Graph 1 presents the type of wastes audited in the residence halls for the first week. The results show that among the identified wastes, plastic packaging had the highest percentage for all the residences. This was followed by organic and food wastes, paper and envelopes, plastic bags and cardboard packaging. Of all the wastes that had the highest concentration, the plastic packaging and bags are the most harmful to our environment since it is not biodegradable. The paper wastes can be attributed to the fact that students live in the halls and they usually use a lot of paper.

There are also some notable wastes thrown into the trash bins that are dangerous and should not have been thrown in a regular waste bin like glass, batteries and polystyrenes.  Moreover, it has been found that of the residence halls, Seethingwells MSC had the highest percentage of plastic packaging waste and organic and food wastes. It can be deduced that the Seething MSC usually ate in the hall and that the plastic packaging could have come from the food or organic materials the residents bought into the hall. Clayhill2 also had a number of wastes from electrical materials.

Graph 2 presents the results of the waste auditing conducted in the residence halls of students for week 2. The graph shows that organic and food wastes were higher in percentage than the plastic packaging. While glass wastes also made up most of the wastes for all the residences. As in week one, batteries and non biodegradable wastes that are not good for the environment were present in the bins.

Clayhill 2 notably had a greater number of cardboard wastes and also electrical wastes, while Kingston’s trash bins had more organic and food wastes in it.  For this week, metals also made it to the trash bins and could indicate that most of the residents were having a party since the metal wastes composed of beer cans. Clayhill 1 also had a high percentage of “contaminated” wastes which actually were sanitary napkins, thus revealing that the residents were female and that most of them had their periods at the same week.

Graph 3 presents the results of the third week of waste audits conducted in the residence halls in the campus. The graph points out that for this week, there is an increase of paper and envelopes in the trash bins, while plastic packaging, organic and food wastes and cardboard packaging were also dominant in the bins. Glass and metal wastes also had a high percentage, while Middle Mill had electrical wastes and batteries.

There were also an observed number of textiles and shoes thrown into the waste bins, and this were mostly shoes. Seething MSC again had the highest concentration of organic and food wastes, while Clayhill 1 residents’ use of paper and envelopes increased in this week. The auditing of the waste bins this week revealed that most of the trash thrown out was biodegradable; however, there are also a number of nonbiodegradable materials that are potentially harmful to the environment and the people who handle the wastes.

The graph presents the summary of the type of wastes identified during a waste audit of the residence halls in a period of 3 weeks. Based on the gathered results, it can be seen that organic and food wastes dominantly figured in the average waste percentage. Of the residence halls surveyed, Seethingwells MSC, Kingston and Middle Mill contributed to the bulk of the said wastes. Plastic packaging also had a high concentration in the audited waste bins, which mostly came from Seethingwells MSC, Seethingwells BSC and Clayhill 2. In the same way, paper and envelope wastes also made up most of the waste and Clayhill1 and Clayhill 2 threw out most of it.

Cardboard packagings were also found to be present in a fairly large number and that most of it came from Clayhill 2 and Seethingwells BSC. Plastic bags were also identified among the wastes and a high number of it was from Clayhill 2. On the other hand, metal and glass wastes were also found to be present in the wastes bins and all the residences audited had almost the same number of glass and metal wastes, while Clayhill 2 surprisingly had a lot of electrical and electronic wastes. The identified wastes in the audit showed that most of the residents did not care what they put into the trash bins, whether it could be recycled or could it be harmful to the environment.

The results of the waste audit revealed a number of factual data that should be addressed by administrators of the residences in order to help in our fight of protecting the environment. Clearly, with the different kinds of wastes identified in the waste bins, it is safe to say that the students in the halls do not practice waste segregation and that they generally are not cognizant of what they throw out can have serious effects in our environment. Thus it is recommended that residents be given an orientation on the proper way of waste disposal and that this should be forcefully enforced.

Summary of Waste Audit for 3 Weeks (Mean Percentage)

Waste type Clayhill 1 Clayhill 2 Kingston Middle Mill Seethingwells BSC Seethingwells MSC
Paper &envelopes 19.35 23.11 9.73 11.33 12 5.63
Cardboard 5.66 15 0 13.67 0.33 3.92
Glass 1.68 6.11 9.96 5.67 8.33 5.84
Packaging (plastic) 15.54 23.14 14.06 21 22.67 27.76
Organic & food 12.33 12.25 37.2 35.67 19 40.2
WEEE 0.00 35 0 1 0.33 0.14
Batteries 0.00 0 0 1.33 1 0
Metals 9.25 11.67 10.79 6 9.67 4.66
Timber 0.00 0 0 0.67 0 0
Furniture 0.00 0 0 0 0 0.59
Textiles & shoes 1.77 7.5 0 2.67 0 2.11
Polystyrene 0.33 0 1.53 0 2 0.9
Packaging (cardboard) 9.88 25.33 13.27 0 17 7
Plastic bags 10.60 20.5 3.29 2 7.67 0.69
Tetra paks 1.05 0 0 0 0 0
“Contaminated” 12.25 0 0 0 0 0

Waste Audit Week 1

Waste type Clayhill 1 Clayhill 2 Kingston Middlle Mill SeethingBSC Seething MSC
Paper &envelopes 10.6 26 9.47 9 8 9.411
Cardboard 12 5 0 15 0 11.765
Glass 2.6 5 11.36 3 8 0
Packaging (plastic) 20.8 16.67 20.38 27 20 44.706
Organic & food 9.5 10 39.77 34 20 27.059
WEEE 0 5 0 0 0 0
Batteries 0 0 0 1 0 0
Metals 7.3 5 5.68 6 10 2.94
Timber 0 0 0 1 0 0
Furniture 0 0 0 1 0 0
Textiles & shoes 0.3 5 0 1 0 0
Construction/demolition 0 0 0 0 0 0
Polystyrene 1 0 0.76 0 2 1.167
Packaging (cardboard) 8.3 31 9.47 0 23 0
Plastic bags 20.2 20.83 2.65 2 8 1.176
Tetra paks 1 0 0 0 0 0
“Contaminated” 5.3 0 0 0 0 0

Waste Audit Week 2

Waste type Clayhill 1 Clayhill 2 Kingston Middle Mill       SeethingBSC Seething MSC
Paper &envelopes 9.16 13.33 3.11 13 10 6.652
Cardboard 0.83 35 0 13 0 0
Glass 0.83 8.33 13.84 8 11 9.313
Packaging (plastic) 10.83 33.75 6.92 15 29 22.173
Organic & food 20 18 48.44 39 15 44.349
WEEE 0 10 0 0 0 0
Batteries 0 0 0 2 2 0
Metals 4.16 5 19.03 6 10 4.878
Timber 0 0 0 1 0 0
Furniture 0 0 0 0 0 1.774
Textiles & shoes 5 0 0 4 0 2.217
Construction/demolition 0 0 0 0 0 0
Polystyrene 0 0 0 0 3 1.109
Packaging (cardboard) 18.33 22.5 8.65 0 13 6.652
Plastic bags 8 21.67 0 0 7 0.889
Tetra paks 0.16 0 0 0 0 0
“Contaminated” 23.16 0 0 0 0 0

Waste Audit Week 3

Waste type Clayhill 1 Clayhill 2 Kingston Middle Mill SeethingBSC Seething MSC
Paper &envelopes 38.3 30 16.6 12 18 0.82
Cardboard 4.16 5 0 13 1 0
Glass 1.6 5 4.68 0 6 8.197
Packaging (plastic) 15 19 14.89 21 19 16.393
Organic & food 7.5 8.75 23.4 34 22 49.18
WEEE 0 0 0 3 1 0.41
Batteries 0 0 0 1 1 0
Metals 16.3 25 7.66 6 9 6.148
Timber 0 0 0 0 0 0
Furniture 0 0 0 0 0 0
Textiles & shoes 0 17.5 0 3 0 4.098
Construction/demolition 0 0 0 0 0 0
Polystyrene 0 0 3.83 0 1 0.41
Packaging (cardboard) 3 22.5 21.7 0 15 14.344
Plastic bags 3.6 19 7.23 3 8 0
Tetra paks 2 0 0 0 0 0
“Contaminated” 8.3 0 0 0 0 0

Waste Audit of Residence Halls by Week (Percentage)

Clayhill1 Halls

Waste type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper &envelopes 10.6 9.16 38.3 19.35
Cardboard 12 0.83 4.16 5.66
Glass 2.6 0.83 1.6 1.68
Packaging (plastic) 20.8 10.83 15 15.54
Organic & food 9.5 20 7.5 12.33
Metals 7.3 4.16 16.3 9.25
Textiles & shoes 0.3 5 0 1.767
Polystyrene 1 0 0 0.33
Packaging (cardboard) 8.3 18.33 3 9.88
Plastic bags 20.2 8 3.6 10.6
Tetra paks 1 0.16 2 1.05
“Contaminated” 5.3 23.16 8.3 12.25

Clayhill 2 Halls

Waste Type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper/envelopes 26 13.33 30 23.11
Cardboard 5 35 5 15
Glass 5 8.33 5 6.11
Packaging (plastic) 16.67 33.75 19 23.14
Organic & food 10 18 8.75 12.25
Electrical 5 100 0 35
Metal 5 5 25 11.67
Textiles & shoes 5 0 17.5 7.5
Packaging (cardboard) 31 22.5 22.5 25.33
Plastic bags 20.83 21.67 19 20.5

Middle Mill

Waste Type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper/envelopes 9 13 12 11.33
Cardboard 15 13 13 13.67
Plastic packaging 27 15 21 21
Organic & food 34 39 34 35.67
Metal 6 6 6 6
Glass 3 8 6 5.67
Plastic bag 2 1 3 2
Batteries 1 2 1 1.33
Textiles & shoes 1 4 3 2.67
Timber 1 1 0 0.67
Electrical Equipment 0 0 3 1

Kingston Hill

Waste Type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper & envelopes 9.47 3.11 16.6 9.72
Glass 11.36 13.84 4.68 9.96
Packaging (plastic etc.) 20.38 6.92 14.89 14.06
Organic & Food 39.77 48.44 23.4 37.20
Metals 5.68 19.03 7.66 10.79
Polystyrene 0.76 0 3.83 1.53
Packaging (cardboard) 9.47 8.65 21.7 13.27
Plastic Bags 2.65 0 7.23 3.29

Seethingwells BSC

Waste Type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper & Envelopes 8 10 18 12
Carboard 0 0 1 0.33
Glass 8 11 6 8.33
Packaging (plastic etc) 20 29 19 22.61
Organic & Food 20 15 22 19
Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment 0 0 1 0.33
Batteries 0 2 1 1
Metals 10 10 9 9.67
Polysterene 2 3 1 2
Packaging (cardboard) 23 13 15 17
Plastic bags 8 7 8 7.67

Seethingwells MSC

Waste  Type Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Average
Paper& Envelopes 9.411 6.652 0.82 5.62
Cardboard 11.765 0 0 3.92
Glass 0 9.313 8.197 5.83
Packing(plastics etc 44.706 22.173 16.393 27.75
Organic & Food 27.059 44.349 49.18 40.19
Waste electrical & electronic 0 0 0.41 0.13
Metals 2.941 4.878 6.148 4.65
Funiture 0 1.774 0 0.59
Textiles& shoes 0 2.217 4.098 2.10
Polystyrene 1.176 1.109 0.41 0.89
Packing (cardboard) 0 6.652 14.344 6.99
Plastic Bags 1.176 0.889 0 0.68

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