College Quest students perform waste audit

Katherine Landoni sorts through trash as part of a campus waste audit on Thursday, July 11, 2013, with her College Quest classmates. Photo by Preston VanSanden | Communications and Marketing intern

From left to right, Nick Steele, Zachary Toombs, Emily Orstad and Macy Milnes conduct a waste audit on campus. Photo by Preston VanSanden | Communications and Marketing intern

Students used buckets to weigh recyclable material of various kinds, including paper, plastic and glass, that they collected from campus trash bins. Photo by Preston VanSanden | Communications and Marketing intern

Class instructor Katie Fleming works with Zachary Toombs and Katherine Landoni to sort trash as part of a waste audit in the summer College Quest class at Western Washington University. Photo by Preston VanSanden | Communications and Marketing intern

Zachary Toombs, Nick Steele, Macy Milnes and Katherine Landoni sort trash as part of a waste audit in the summer College Quest class at Western Washington University. Photo by Preston VanSanden | Communications and Marketing intern

Western Today staff

Students taking part in Western Washington University's Youth Programs summer class in environmental science and sustainability conducted a waste audit in front of Carver Gymnasium on campus Thursday.

The students, who have been learning this week about climate science with a special focus on the Nooksack River watershed, sorted trash from campus sources to determine how much recyclable material is being thrown away on campus.

The class was led by Katie Fleming, who holds a master's degree in natural science/science education from Western and a B.A. in television and film production from Indiana University. A devoted environmental educator, Fleming was the educational coordinator for RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham. She is currently the community engagement director at FRIENDS of the San Juans, an environmental organization in Friday Harbor. She also teaches for Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment.

The work was a collaboration between WWU Youth Programs and the Office of Sustainability as part of Zero Waste Western.