Trash Talk Lecture: Stuff by the Yard: Campus Materials Management

Cambridge, December 20, 2011 - Harvard generates as much trash as a small city, with a wide spectrum of refuse from residences, dining facilities, offices, clinics, and research laboratories. How does the nation’s oldest and wealthiest university recycle and reduce waste?

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology &d Ethnology presents the free lecture, "Stuff by the Yard: Campus Materials Management," on Thursday, January 26, 2011 at 6:00 P.M. at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge). The lecture will be followed by a reception at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Ave.).

Harvard has recycled, reused, and composted since 1636, but these days the university procures over 16,000 tons of products from around the globe to support campus operations every year. The situation has created both new urgency and opportunity for wise materials management.

This illustrated talk will explore Harvard’s recycling and compost collection systems; collegial sharing of furniture, clothing, supplies and equipment; partnerships with local and international charities for reusing surplus goods; vendors' retrieval of used commodities for recycling; composting for use on campus soils and beyond; and collaborations with special needs workers to refurbish and recycle electronics.

The speaker is Rob Gogan, Manager of Harvard Recycling and Waste Services.

Additional topics in this series include waste ecologies and ocean plastics.  Join us this Spring for an exploration of the anthropology of waste!

About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397


Mt. Trashmore illustrates a single day's trash from Harvard Yard, 2010. Students estimated that if it weren’t for Harvard’s 55% recycling rate, Mt. Trashmore would have been 15 feet tall and over twice the volume. Courtesy Harvard Office for Sustainability.

"Stuff by the Yard: Campus Materials Management," part of the Peabody Museum Trash Talk series of free lectures, is Thursday, January 26, 2011 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027.