UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into organic waste management : bin liners Bradley, Trevor; Cicierski, Brennan; Daggitt, Hayden; Heieis, Adrian; Peddie, Logan


Climate change has been a growing issue over the past few decades, and as such, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint are becoming an increasingly talked about issue. The separation of organic waste from other waste streams helps mitigate the damage being done to the environment as a result, composting programs all over the world are now being introduced in an aggressive fashion. The University of British Columbia currently has a composting program in place with two main initiatives; residential and oncampus composting. The aim of this report is to address the problems that are currently associated with the program, foremost including the cleanliness and odor of the containers. to be taken into consideration while investigating this issue will be the type of container, convenient methods of keeping them clean by using items such as bin liners, as well as minimizing costs and efforts by users and maintenance operators. Research of similar programs, and investigation of suitable bin liners were the primary means to get our desired data for the larger green carts found on campus, while surveying current residents helped us come to our final conclusions on residential composting. After extensive searching, we found many bin liner options, varying in price, size and material, but only few meeting our criteria. The biggest issue when looking for green cart solutions were finding ones with the correct specifications as well as being economically viable. Our final recommendations include using cardboard liners manufactured in Asia custom made to our current bins specifications for a very low cost. Comparatively, we adopted the concept of homemade newspaper bin liners for the smaller residential food scrap pails using commonly found campus and city newspapers. Use of infographics to promote the usability and simplicity of the program, residents need only make a couple of folds to rid themselves of the odorous and unsanitary bins. 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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