JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Students dumped loads of trash onto the University of North Florida campus green Wednesday, and it was all to prove a point.
UNF is known as one of the most environmentally responsible schools in the country, according to the Princeton Review, but there is always room for improvement. That's why students were sifting through campus trash to see how much people recycle.
It's a dirty and stinky job, but somebody has to do it, they say.
"This is a college campus, so there's no telling what's going to be in there," student Jeremy Veale said.
"Just maybe liquid mixed up with Coca-Cola and Sprite," student Abdub Jirmon said of what he'd seen in the trash.
Students were looking for anything that can be recycled.
"Now we're doing a waste audit, where we get all the different trash cans and we try to recycle as much material as possible," student Aya Ajjawi said.
The students gathered samples of campus trash on the green, hence the name of the event Garbage on the Green. The ultimate purpose of the waste audit was to determine how much students recycle.
"We take the information so that next year we are able to recycle more and waste less," Jirmon said.
In addition to the emphasis placed on recycling, there has been an ongoing effort to create a more sustainable campus.
"We have no plastic bags in our bookstore, and we have a donation site where people can bring their plastic bags and drop them and reuse them," said April Moore, program director of environmental studies.
Moore said students are becoming environmental stewards who will graduate and hopefully influence others to protect the environment.