1. Data Collection
I am currently living at home, so I looked at the trash in the kitchen and my bedroom. I was only able to sort the trash in my bedroom since my parents did not want me sorting the trash in the kitchen. For my kitchen, the container on top is compost and the container on the bottom is waste.
I would estimate the following compositions for my waste (not including compost and recycling):
Bedroom: 80% paper; 20% non-recyclable, foil-like packaging
Kitchen: 45% paper (napkins, paper towels, parchment paper); 43% plastic (non-recyclable packaging, saran wrap); 5% organic, non-compostable material (animal fat, grease, bones); 5% misc. inorganic waste (cleaning products); 2% glass
2. Improving Data Quality
The quality of the data would have been improved if I was able to weigh the waste. I could also analyze my household's waste composition over a longer period of time to get a more generalized result.
3. Waste Reduction
I think the main areas my household could reduce waste would be in paper products and single-use packaging. First, we could reduce the number of napkins, tissues, and paper towels by swapping them for cloth alternatives. In the kitchen, we could use old rags for cleaning spills rather than napkins and paper towels. Second, we could buy fewer food items that come individually packaged. Instead, we could buy these items in bulk to reduce the packaging they come in.