Monday, August 10, 2009
Recycling Survey of Campus
We have discussed the idea of a recycling survey at various points throughout the year, and by the end, we had some progress but nothing streamlined. With no internship and no interviews (just some research and reading to do) lined up (plus an aversion to traveling to far in 100 degree heat), I decided to go on a building-by-building journey of campus and check out the trash and recycling situation. I hit the following buildings: Walsh, Healy, ICC, Reiss, and Leavey.
I started out in Walsh, and when you enter Walsh, you feel as though you are off to a good start because of the presence of battery and cell phone recycling (Yes, it's there). However, there is no marked plastic recycling on the first floor of Walsh: only glass, newspaper, and cans. This brings me to RECYCLING POINT #1:
RECYCLING POINT #1: All recycling locations should have facilities to accommodate all recycling (paper, glass, plastic, aluminum) possible and should be paired with a trash can.
as well as RECYCLING POINT #2:
RECYCLING POINT #2: Mixed paper, white paper, newspaper: How about one for just "mixed paper" as a collective term for all? If not, then either 1) more education needs to be done about what the value to separation is (Money, in case you are wondering), or 2) all forms of paper recycling bins must be paired with each other at all locations.
From there, I continued on to the rest of my journey through Walsh, which has one of the most abysmal states of recycling.
1) No standardization: There is no set style of bin in Walsh. Bins range from ghetto, broken, lidded plastics recycling bins to Coca Cola "Give it Back" bottle recycling bins. It is haphazard, at best.
2) Rarely even there: Standardization aside, the main problem is that recycling, often, isn't even available.
RECYCLING POINT #3: Bins must be of standardized form and placement.
Recycling Points #1, #2, and #3 characterize the states in Healy, ICC, and Reiss as well, so there is no need to elaborate too much there. However, I must establish the following vital rule with regard to the Leavey Center. Hoya Court, home to mass consumption of bottles and mass food and wrapping waste, has no trace of recycling whatsoever:
RECYCLING POINT #4: Recycling facilities must be available wherever corresponding materials are being consumed (i.e. paper by a copying machine, plastic/aluminum by a vending machine or a food court).
So, as for public spaces on campus go, I think these four rules sum it up well so far. If you want to see all of my photos (I have 120 photos chronicling my journey), just ask--I'll send the Snapfish link to you!