Above, one of three mounds at the Seneca Meadows Landfill in Waterloo, NY, as seen from the west side of Seneca Lake approximately eight miles away (through a telephoto lens). Credit: Kevin Colton, HWS.

EPA Region Map

EPA Region Map
EPA Region Map

Monday, February 28, 2011

Greener Bathrooms

Public restrooms are an easy place to go greener because there are so many resources being used in one place. Like a previous post mentioned, dual flush toilets are being seen more often (but have been used in Europe for decades) to conserve water. People can buy low flow showerheads to reduce the amount of water they consume while showering.

Many people have noticed with frustration that our school buys 100% post-consumer recycled toilet paper. It is not exactly user-friendly because it barely exists, but considering the amount of toilet paper and paper towels our college must go through in a year, it is a small sacrifice in the greater scheme of things. Now Scott Tissue is making a toilet paper for households that doesn't contain a cardboard tube. According to an article in USA Today 17 billion toilet paper tubes are produced in America annually and result in 160 million pounds of trash.

All of these green bathroom features sound great, but I was troubled to see an over flowing trash can of paper towels in the library today. The library bathrooms are not equip with hand dryers (too loud?) and the amount of waste is alarming. Some recycling companies can recycled used paper towels but even if they cannot be recycled due to being saturated, they can most definitely be composted. Unfortunately it looks like this bag of paper towels will be sent to a land fill.

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