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, April 3, 2011

Following a discussion about my building's unbelievable disposal rate with our janitorial staff one morning, they recommended I see the "recycling room." I had no idea what this meant so obviously I had to see it and was confronted with the scene to your left. It seemed inoccuous enough; a room to separate out the blue bags from the white ones. What they told me next was what brought the scenario into shocking relief: this was 3 weeks worth of collection. WHAAAAAT?

Where my building had produced roughly ten bags of garbage in two day, we had not come close to that amount in 3 WEEKS. I am still baffled over this finding. It became easier to understand when they explained that much of what is recycled must unfortunately be added to the trash pile because it's been ruined by food or liquidbut still... WHAT??

It occurs to me that there either needs to be less strict regulations on recyclables or increased separation of materials. The bottom line remains however, the greatest contribution to this unbelievable finding is our consumption of things that cannot be reused or converted into other materials.

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