TCD Plastic Solutions are to hold compulsory recycling workshops in Trinity Hall during Freshers Week. The workshop is entitled “Sort Your Shit”, and will teach students the values of recycling and waste reduction. The workshops are a joint project between Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) and Trinity Hall Junior Common Room (JCR).
The workshops have received no funding and are run on a volunteer basis. Volunteers, who will teach the workshops, will be trained by the Provost’s sustainability advisor, Michelle Hallahan.
Halls will see 15 workshops held over the course of one day in September. They will consist of two parts, with the first outlining what is and is not recyclable, and the second suggesting ways in which students can easily reduce waste in their residence.
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU Environmental Officer Pola Radomska noted that the objective of the workshops is to encourage students to “take responsibility for their waste and become more aware of the plastic epidemic that we are facing”.
Radomska also pointed out that Trinity has had a recycling rate of 50% in past years, and blamed “contamination in bins throughout campus”. She recognised that “contamination in recycling bins is a huge environmental problem because it means that other perfectly recyclable materials in that bin end up being incinerated or placed in landfill”.
JCR Secretary Tate Donnelly, who was involved in organising the workshops expressed his optimism and said: “The new compulsory waste workshops, ‘Sort your Shit’, are a massive step forward in making Trinity a greener place. They will help residents learn how we can cut down on our waste by making simple changes.”
This initiative is also being supported by TCD Plastic Solutions, a student led environmental group which has previously called for the elimination of the sale and use of single use plastics on campus. Last year, the group presented a petition on the issue to Provost Patrick Prendergast. He also announced his support for the initiative during Green Week last year.
The group have collaborated with the Pavilion Bar and the Buttery to introduce fully compostable water cups, coffee cups, and paper straws. The group also launched a reusable cup deposit scheme with the Pavilion Bar.
The workshops follow a year on from the introduction of consent workshops in Trinity Hall. The workshops saw over 90% of Trinity Hall tenants attending, with additional classes being held due to strong demand. The workshops saw 87.4% of people agree that they learned “something useful”. These workshops were run by Trinity, TCDSU and JCR.