April 17, 2014.
On this day, students sorted through refuse destined for disposal and ultimately the city's incinerator on the south side at the second annual Dumpster Dive. The event was sponsored by the Student Sustainability Council and Undergraduate Student Council, in cooperation with the IUPUI Office of Sustainability.
The event raised awareness about the large amount of recyclable materials--glass, plastics, paper, etc.--casually tossed into the trash without a thought. At the event, IUPUI's trash hauler dropped about a thousand pounds of campus refuse onto tarps in the Taylor Hall courtyard. Students then sorted the refuse into recyclable and non-recyclable heaps. Participants discovered that IUPUI students, faculty, and staff were doing a poor job of sorting recyclables from refuse. The results of the first Dumpster Dive showed that nearly two-thirds of the sample pile deemed "trash" were actually recyclable material worth money and able to be refashioned into more bottles, cans, paper, etc. The results of the second Dive were similar.
The findings indicated that IUPUI people had not developed the habits of recycling in their everyday lives. This is in large part due to the City of Indianapolis's lack of curbside recycling and a policy of feeding the incinerator on the south side. IUPUI students from the metropolitan region had grown up without incorporating simple recycling habits into their routines.
IUPUI Office of Sustainability and groups around campus have worked to raise awareness of environmental issues on campus. These included encouraging ride-sharing, biking to campus, planting native plants on campus, the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other common-sense measures.
For more information on sustainability at IUPUI, consult records in IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Contact staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.