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 7, 2011

Is Recycling Still Not Encouraged Enough?

So last night was the Super Bowl, and the Odell's unit that we went to for a Super Bowl Party attempted to make an effort to recycle more than they might usually do. We ended up emptying their recycling bin about 5 times before emptying their garbage. It seemed kind of ridiculous, until I really looked at what we were dealing with.

Yes that is both the recycling and garbage bins Odell's units are given during for the year. But no, the larger blue one isn't given to us as a recycling bin. Although the picture doesn't show the classic recycling logo on the smaller blue bin, you'll have to trust my word when I tell you it's there. But, yes, you're seeing correctly. The recycling bin we are given is at least half the size of the garbage bin. I really started to wonder how we are consistently told to recycle more than we throw away, yet our own institution does not provide us with better means to do so. I know what you are thinking. "Just use the bigger one for recycling anyway." Well I thought of that, but shouldn't we be given, at the very least, equal sized containers so we can at least strive for a mere 50% recycle rate, which is far better than what we have now?
Well I decided to look a little further into our resources that are given for recycling in Odell's. Once again, I found the same thing. These are the three lovely recycling bins Odell's residents get to recycle in whenever their own small bins get full. Now here's the kicker.
Although there's only five garbage bins shown in the picture to the right, again you'll have to trust me when I tell you that there are actually six there. Once again, HWS gives us half of the amount of available ways to recycle instead of throw away. At the very least, we should have an equal number of garbage and recycle bins. Maybe if we can do that and a 50% recycle rate (not that ambitious, but better than what we are at) can actually be encouraged and supported, and not just talked about, we can actually be confident that our campus is actually semi-green, instead of just claiming that it is.

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