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

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Recycle This

I was eating at the cafe one afternoon after one of our garbage audits and a number of things popped out at me. When one goes to throw out their trash at the receptacles in the cafe they come across three different trash bins. One is for Trash that is non recyclable, one is for trash that is recyclable, and one is for compostables. I observed students throwing out trash into these bins and it seemed like many did not follow the proper instructions shown on the posters and others did not care to do so. People would walk by and throw their entire waste into one bin, failing to separate certain items into their associated trash bin. Another thing that is important to note is contamination. Talked about in both our trash audits and Royte's book, if trash is contaminated to a certain point it can no longer properly be recycled or composted. The top picture exemplifies trash that has been highly contaminated. Students do not realize that even if they are throwing something away in the proper bin if it contains other trash items that do not belong in the bin you can potentially destroy the recycled potential of the entire content of the bin. It is important to make sure that contaminants such as water and other food goods are not being thrown away with waste that is supposed to be recycled.

1 comment:

  1. Good observation. So far the market for recycled ketchup has not developed.