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

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Opposing Ideas of Trash

While I was walking around Geneva last Monday afternoon, I came across a very large recycling bag right next to a small droplet of a trash bag. This image immediately made me happy because it was refreshing to see such an identifiable difference between the trash and recycling that a household is producing. The second photo was taken as I was walking back onto campus. These two images juxtapose one another because they display contradicting images. This photo clearly shows many recyclables in the trash including cans, cardboard and plastics, while the first photo represents accurately sorted trash and recycling to maximize recycling efforts and minimize unnecessary waste.

Comparing these two photos makes me hope that our campus will pay more attention to recycling in the dorms after the efforts of our class and the awareness that has been around campus lately. It also shows the stereotype of some college students not truly caring about their trash, what they throw away and where they throw it. Some students just see a bin and toss what they need to throw away regardless of whether it is a trash can or a recycling bin. This is where the problem of poorly sorted recycling originates from and how recyclables end up in the trash. By contributing just a little more effort, trash can be reduced and recycling rates can be easily maximized.

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