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An investigation into the implementation of a solid waste accounting system in the new Student Union Building

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Disciplines
  • Design
  • Economics

Abstract

In this paper, we outline our process and investigation into the implementation of a solid waste accounting system in the new Student Union Building (SUB). Our investigation begins at the source, the disposal of trash items from the individual using or passing through the SUB facilities. From here the trash processes is followed through the collection and storage in the trash room in the SUB, and finally pickup and delivery to UBC’s organic trash digester in the case of the organic waste, and pickup with destination to the Delta Landfill in the case of the inorganic waste. It was determined that the implementation of a solid waste accounting system to quantify the amounts of each type of waste being produced is very feasible and can in fact be used as a tool to also implement several social and economic improvements to the SUB. The ideal step in the process to implement such an accounting system was at the point of storage before pickup. It is our recommendation that the new SUB use the current Schaefer bins to continue to collect trash items, however build socially appealing wooden cabinets around them labelled with the final destination of the trash items, ultimately creating a sense of local awareness in the individual disposing of his or her trash items by informing him or her as to the closeness to home of the final resting place of that piece of trash. These cabinets would be designed such that they could have a door which would swing open allowing the Schaefer bins to be wheeled to the trash room in the SUB. Here mechanical Schaefer-lifters could be used to empty the organic waste bins into a dumpster and the inorganic waste bins into a compactor. Using these mechanical lifters recognizes a social benefit in the employee not having to physically lift the Schaefer bins to empty them, mitigating the risk of back injuries or other lifting-associated injuries. Finally, each the dumpster and the compactor would be sitting on four weigh scales, one beneath each corner, which would remotely relay the weight of the dumpster or compactor to a local software unit installed on a computer in a nearby office. Knowing the weight of the empty dumpster or compactor, the program is thus able to track, plot and monitor the weight of each vessel, recording the history for later review. Based on this information, optimal pickup schedules could be determined such that fossil fuels burned by pickup vehicles are minimized. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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