UMass students promote recycling for Earth Day

Hampshire County

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass Amherst is recognizing Earth Day Monday.

Earth Day is all about supporting and protecting the environment, and that’s what students are trying to do at UMass.

Students and staff sorted through thousands of pounds of trash from all the Southwest residence halls to see what could be recycled or composted. It’s designed to raise awareness about the number of items mistakenly thrown in the trash.

Trash from one academic year would fill 47 percent of a Southwest tower — and more than 17 percent of that can be recycled. 22News spoke to one student who said, this is a unique and entertaining way to promote recycling.  

“Clearly there is a lot of stuff that isn’t trash so it’s just an educational event for people,” said UMass Junior Pheobe Gelbard. “A lot of people walk past and wonder what on earth is going on. We are just trying to show people what’s going into the trash that really shouldn’t be there.”

Americans throw away enough garbage every day to fill 63,000 garbage trucks, which if lined up end to end for an entire year would stretch halfway to the moon. Of the garbage Americans throw out, half could be recycled, which is enough to fill a football stadium from top to bottom every day.

Students hope to recycle at least half of what they find in that pile of trash Monday.

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