What can trash tell us?

The trash from Paccar Hall and Art Building could tell us not only the diet of people but also their behavior and their attitude toward food.

The garbage cans we selected are outside the classroom in business school and art school of University of Washington. Due to location, most users might be students.

In Paccar Hall, all of trash represents diets; in Art Building, in addition to diet, some of the trash represents that there might be a meeting or conference. We found of a large paper, a bag with some sweetness and stirrers, and a used rubber glove, which reveals the preparations for meeting or conference and the cleaning activity.

The garbage from business school reveals wasteful pattern. We found a full bag of Fritos, lunch box with more than half sandwich, and some unfinished drinks. Although we found similar condition in Art school, there is only one unfinished coconut water. For the coffee, students in art school prefer independent coffee shop to chain store such as Starbucks; the trash from business school is the opposite.

The diet reflects the similar contents, such as banana, orange, drinks, and yogurt, which reveal the common diet of students. But from the snacks, there are more different types of snack in business school, including chocolate, energy bars, cookies, nuts, and a hot pocket, which reflects that the business students might be too busy to have meals. Therefore, they will choose to quickly have snacks when they take a break.

The result reveals that the business students might be more wasteful than art students. The reason might be they are too busy to finish meal, or they tend to waste because they could make more money. From the coffee cups, we know the art students will go to the independent coffee shop, which accords with their artistic temperature.

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