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

One Idiot's Trash...

Every once and a while, it's fun to take stock of the inane idiocy that occassionally flares up on our lovely grounds. Just this passed weekend, some strong fool decided to unearth a trash bin that was CEMENTED into the ground. Don't ask me how but they managed to tip the thing sideways just for laughs.. I guess?

Anyway, another demonstration of our species devolution is currently residing in a tree in the O'dells complex.. or was the last time I checked. At some point earlier this semester, some clearly high functioning individual decided one of the school's yellow bikes was most useful if suspended fifteen feet in the air. Perhaps they thought that they were returning the bike (our school's most obvious example of it's environmental concerns) to its "natural" environment. Dude, the irony was not lost on us.

Call it corny but the first thing that came to mind (other than several profanities and immediate judgements) was the idea of trash vs. treasure. I'm not breaking any new ground with this kind of thinking but I couldn't help but begin mulling over the complexities of this scenario. This yellow bike, a piece of the colleges campaign to decrease student driving (thereby reducing carbon emissions), had no apparent defects. It seemed a perfectly usable tool that was now decommissioned because someone was showing off. At the risk of souding grandiose, this bike could have been someone's sole mode of transport around campus and town. What else are we heaving away that still has immense value simply because we're bored or moronic? It is a question several of the author's we have read have raised, most notably Elizabeth Royte in her investigation of our consumption and chronic disposal.

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