Trash Sampling, Part 1

My mum used to tell me when I was young that if I didn’t study hard enough, I will be working as a garbage man when I grow up. She probably wouldn’t have expected me to willingly do the job even though I study (cough! cough!) hard.

Over the next week the recycling division of Greenpulse will be doing some good old fashion dumpster diving in the A and B Residential Colleges, beginning this Monday, and on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday respectively. The purpose is to get baseline data on the breakdown of trash in Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

A carefully done baseline data is needed so that we may show how much of an impact a regular recycling activity can have on the trash composition within the humble rubbish bin (we are only considering relatively empty plastic bottles, food containers and aluminium cans due to manpower issues, literally); besides showing the potential amount of recyclable items that can be collected.

One of the greater issues associated with recycling is the viability of the entire exercise, where the amount of trash collected is directly correlated with the profitability of the venture.

In simple terms: The recyclers will only come if there is enough recyclable items for them to pick up.

The bin population in A and B residential colleges numbers 112. Using a generic sample size calculator from the Internet, a sapling of 86 bins will be taken on each day to achieve a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of 5%.

To illustrate the level of accuracy, assume the amount of aluminium cans comprised 6% of the total amount of trash. This means we can be certain that 95% of the time, if we were to take any random bin in the A and B residential colleges, 1 to 11% of the trash contents will be aluminium cans.

So, if you should see a young person walking about AB over te next few days willingly digging through your trash for no pay, lend a helping hand or a word of encouragement – because not only are we doing you a service, we also know that you *************** (censored to protect identities).


2 Responses

  1. great jobs!

  2. Hey guys, gambatte a~~ we very appreciate your all effort to the Greenpulse. Gambatte~~

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