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, March 7, 2011

The Collegiate Tumbleweed

This weekend, I looked out my kitchen window and saw a hint of color rolling around in the snow. Upon further attention, my housemates and I realized that this wind-blown object was none other then an empty 30 rack cardboard box.
At first I laughed at how ridiculous it was to see the evidence of someone's night laid out in the snow for everyone to see. Then my train of thought went past the "haha, oh college" thought and on to a recycling thought. A 30 rack is one of the simplest objec
ts to recycle. With such incredibly thin cardboard and poor glue, it takes almost no effort to quickly fold the box into a size that can fit into our giant recycling bins. If this box were to stay outside, it would get wet and hence be rendered un-recyclable. This careless thought of tossing the box out into the snow would put the empty, lonely 30 rack right into a landfill. No one likes to clean up the next morning, but the least you could do is to recycle an obviously recyclable item. So, with these eco-proud thoughts, I marched right outside in the snow without shoes, grabbed the remnants of a of last-night's-brew-box, and put it where it belonged.

(A note on the box: upon carrying the box back to my house, I realized the head-sized hole in the side of it indicated that the box had already served a second purpose (as a hat) the night before, so the box had been "reclaimed" once already. Just not in the eco-friendly sense).

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