Project Title

The Fundamentals of Garbology

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Geography & Anthropology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Susan Kirkpatrick Smith

Disciplines

Archaeological Anthropology

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The Fundamentals of Garbology

The goal of our project is to help people realize how much trash they are wasting, and we are doing this by analyzing each other's garbage and using other scientific articles for evidence. An interesting fact of our research was the dissonance between what people thought garbage production (both their own and others) looked like, versus what was revealed. Our research led us to understand that people’s perceptions of garbage often misalign with the reality of garbage.

In our research, we have learned about how analyzing people's garbage can be misleading. For example, if you see a lot of healthy foods in a person's garbage you can assume that they eat exceptionally clean or they are on a diet until you see a half-eaten slice of pizza. Furthermore, we have learned that it is difficult to determine the number of people producing trash. An example of this is from one group member is that it was determined that about five people lived in the household when there were nine. Among the best uses of garbology is that it helps people to realize how much garbage they are producing. Our focus in garbology is to help people realize how much of one food they are wasting, or how certain things that could easily be recycled are just being thrown away. One common themes found in our research is people tend to either have a lot of food in their garbage or little to none. One person in our group had ramen, plastic utensils, and thrown away food, while another group member had dog pills and materials used for doing nails. Our studies have proven that people have different lifestyles. However, the number of people living in their households reflected the amount of trash that was collected.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, asynchronously via recorded video upload

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The Fundamentals of Garbology

The Fundamentals of Garbology

The goal of our project is to help people realize how much trash they are wasting, and we are doing this by analyzing each other's garbage and using other scientific articles for evidence. An interesting fact of our research was the dissonance between what people thought garbage production (both their own and others) looked like, versus what was revealed. Our research led us to understand that people’s perceptions of garbage often misalign with the reality of garbage.

In our research, we have learned about how analyzing people's garbage can be misleading. For example, if you see a lot of healthy foods in a person's garbage you can assume that they eat exceptionally clean or they are on a diet until you see a half-eaten slice of pizza. Furthermore, we have learned that it is difficult to determine the number of people producing trash. An example of this is from one group member is that it was determined that about five people lived in the household when there were nine. Among the best uses of garbology is that it helps people to realize how much garbage they are producing. Our focus in garbology is to help people realize how much of one food they are wasting, or how certain things that could easily be recycled are just being thrown away. One common themes found in our research is people tend to either have a lot of food in their garbage or little to none. One person in our group had ramen, plastic utensils, and thrown away food, while another group member had dog pills and materials used for doing nails. Our studies have proven that people have different lifestyles. However, the number of people living in their households reflected the amount of trash that was collected.

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