The Berkeley Art Studio, located in Lower Sproul underneath the Golden Bear Cafe’, offers classes in pottery, photography, drawing, painting, and sculpting to both students and non-students throughout the year. Like most human enterprises, art creates a fair amount of waste products, particularly the scrap glaze and clay that the ceramics studio generates.
Before applying for a 2009 TGIF grant, the ceramics studio washed its glaze and clay waste down studio sinks. Basic sand and particulate traps would filter out only the largest grained materials, resulting in an estimated 5-10 pounds per week of waterborne particulates being flushed into the campus water system. In the interest of maximizing the ceramic waste captured, preventing damage to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Student Union’s plumbing system, and making a commitment to sustainability, the Art Studio applied for a TGIF Grant to purchase equipment for preventing clay and glaze waste from going down the drain. As an added sustainable bonus, the Art Studio hoped to repurpose the collected waste material into ceramic tiles and “greenware”, sparing the waste from going to landfill while annually saving an estimated $325 on supplies. Thus, the TGIF-funded project “No More Down the Drain” was born. Continue reading