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College professor to dive into ‘garbology’

Greg Smith, associate professor of anthropology at Northwest College (center), conducts garbology research with students Guadalupe Aguilar (left) and Cory Constein at the NWC campus on Sept. 17. Greg Smith, associate professor of anthropology at Northwest College (center), conducts garbology research with students Guadalupe Aguilar (left) and Cory Constein at the NWC campus on Sept. 17. Tribune photo by Ilene Olson

Ready for some trash-talking?

Northwest College Associate Professor of Anthropology J. Gregory Smith will report to the public on the recently completed “garbology” study from 7-8 p.m. Monday  in the NWC Fagerberg Lecture Hall, Room 70.

The public is invited to this free program, including families, organizations, groups and individuals. Find out how one can analyze one’s own work or household waste stream to minimize its landfill requirements and harmful impact on our earth’s limited natural resources.

Garbology is the science of refuse. The Anthropology Department has a garbology project that involves conducting periodic waste stream audits on campus. What does that entail? Using a scientific method, they do some low-tech dumpster diving, and note every single thing contained in dumpsters. They then analyze the data to find out just how much discarded stuff was destined for the dump that could have been recycled.

The project provided students with practical experience in using the scientific method and a heightened awareness of the lifecycle of garbage. One can extrapolate estimates about the quantity of recyclable material that is misdirected over certain periods of time. Armed with this knowledge, adjustments in behavior can be encouraged to reduce negative impacts on the earth and encourage reducing waste, reusing and recycling habits.

Indication of intent to attend this program is not required, but would be appreciated. Sign up at www.MoreLearningFun.net or call Powell Valley Community Education at 754-6469.

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1 comment

  • posted by Alan Weberman

    September 26, 2013 9:42 am

    As the man who invented the word garbology I commend Prof. Smith on his noble pursuit

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