Approximately one-third of Trinity Hall (Halls) residents attended recycling workshops held during Freshers’ Week. Led by activist group TCD Plastic Solutions and Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), the “Sort Your Shit” workshops educated first year students on waste reduction and how to identify recyclable materials.
Speaking to Trinity News, Trinity Hall Junior Common Room (JCR) Secretary, Tate Donnelly, described the informative nature of the workshops. Students “not only learned how to dispose of their waste properly, but also how to cut down on their waste, and the importance of making these changes,” said Donnelly.
Donnelly expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the one-day informative program, stating the workshops had “made a really positive impact”.
15 workshops were held as a collaboration between TCDSU and the JCR. In its first year of implementation, the workshops are a reaction to large levels of contamination in recycling bins at student accommodations.
Speaking to Trinity News, TCDSU Environmental Officer Pola Radomska noted that the objective of the workshops were to encourage students to “take responsibility for their waste and become more aware of the plastic epidemic that we are facing”.
Divided into two parts, the program first provided an overview of what can and cannot be recycled, and was followed by a discussion on sustainability and general waste reduction.
The workshops ran on a volunteer basis and were not funded by College. To obtain qualification to teach the workshops, volunteers took part in the “Train To Be a Recycling Champion” session.
The program educated volunteers on delivering concise, 15 minute workshops directed at reducing the confusion surrounding recycling. Upon completion, volunteers were equipped with the techniques to best articulate the characteristics of recyclable materials.
During the 2017-18 academic year, the TCDSU and JCR collaborated to hold mandatory consent workshops. The workshops witnessed attendance rates of greater than 90%, and were ultimately extended due to high demand. Of the attendees, 87.4% claimed to have learned “something useful”.
TCD Plastic Solutions is a student-run organisation dedicated to the elimination of single-use plastics. During the 2017/18 academic year, the activist group successfully organised the #PlasticFreeTCD movement on Trinity campus.