Trash Sampling, Part 2

When we finally went insane and cheered the common weighing scale.

When we finally went insane and cheered the common weighing scale.

Okay, that was too long. WordPress’s servers decided to take drugs while I was writing this post, forcing me to rewrite everything after the following paragraph.

Somehow or other, the recycling division of Greenpulse has managed to get through two more nights of dumpster diving. Nothing says camaraderie like sifting through trash looking for plastic bottles, plastic containers, and aluminium cans while chatting about how I used a perfectly good plastic container saved from the dumpster that was coated with organic goo that smelled something like cat vomit with chicken poo to serve French fries to my housemates on Wednesday.

Wednesday night was Chow’s last trash sampling as a Universiti Malaysia Sabah student. According to him, the graduation ceremony was not even on his mind. Understandable when you are the kind of guy who would cycle through rain to a spot 2.4km away to swim in trash.

And before I forget, the recycling team is made up of similarly minded maniacs (all freshmen except for me and Chow) who were willing to sample ALL 112 bins in AB residential colleges before I pointed out the point of statistical sampling was so you wouldn’t need to sample the ENTIRE POPULATION.

Aside from that minor detail, with people like them on board, the environmental movement is still safe for two more years in UMS.

Wednesday night was gloomy, wet and all round horrid. The rain was discouraging as I peddled my way into campus grounds. What kept me going was the thought that there were actually juniors who were still willing to get down and dirty in the rain when they could have chosen to lie down in bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep before classes on Thursday.

That made me feel rotten for even thinking of taking a day off because of the rain.

As luck would have it, it only rained periodically for the entire 3 hours we carried out the trash sampling activity. That meant we were more or less 90% wet from sweat and goo instead of purified sky juice.

Watching the team work together, cracking jokes about finding inappropriate items and the amount of aluminium cans the dormitory for the boys produced compared to the dormitory for the girls was unnecessary, but fun. Again, wait for the official breakdown of our data.

It was an easier affair on Wednesday, as Kim Ling (correct me if I am mistaken ladies) had arranged for the cleaners to gather all the trash from all the blocks for us, so we wouldn’t have to manually extract them. What this meant was quite fortunately, we would be sampling more than 95% of the trash for greater accuracy, while the downside is, we would be sampling more than 95% of the trash.

We REALLY love the environment.

After the sampling on Wednesday, Chow gave a bit of a farewell speech to make sure the team knows we are all that stands between a green utopia, and complete annihilation (no, I made up the bit after “speech”).

Friday was a kinder, gentler affair, where the cleaners had forgotten to gather the trash for us to sample. But the weather was excellent, and we were at full strength at 2230 hours. By the time we were done, we had found another batch of items we can’t believe people throw away. But we will have the pictures posted when we are done with then entire sampling.

Placing the stuff here right now would not be embarrassing/funny enough.

So everyone was happy and cheerful when we were done by 1230 hours, and could walk and cycle back to our humble abodes after another night of swimming through waste.


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