This week has been a quiet week for the recycling project as we’re currently between the mapping aspect and the monitoring aspect. Still I can’t seem to get away from the concept of recycling on campus. This morning I went to take my recycling out of my house (298 Meeting) and couldn’t seem to find the recycling bins. Turns out they’d migrated again to the back of the house. After a bit of frustration I finally found them. But I could have easily just given up and tossed my large bag of cans and bottles in the trash. The experience made me realize that other people might have similar frustrations. Maybe the lack of recycling is not out of apathy, but instead out of a lack of resources. I have not seen the full results of the mapping aspect, but I know some of the buildings I mapped had virtually no recycling bins. It was strange to go from the honors center, which had four bins on the tiny first floor placed within a few steps of each other, to buildings like the Johnson Center which had virtually no bins. Personally, I think the mapping aspect of this project might in fact be the most beneficial. It seems to me that the problem is poor allocation of bins. We need to redistribute the bins to locations where they’re needed, perhaps even add more. Certainly the problem is not consistent, as buildings like the Honors Center and 6 Green Way seem to have an overkill of recycling bins. Still I’m starting to feel like the root of the problem is in distribution of bins.
The only other problem I’ve gathered is the lack of labeling on bins. Quite a few bins I saw when mapping were not labeled, but didn’t appear to be catch-all bins either. This was extremely frustrating when I was trying to map the bin. However I cannot imagine how much more frustrating it would be to some who’s trying to recycle. It reminds me again of the bin
outside my house. While one is labeled paper only, the other merely reads “_______ only”. Am I supposed to be able to fill in the blank? I didn’t know, so I just ended up dumping both my plastic and aluminum recycling in the bin as there appeared to be no other option. Some people however might have just gone and thrown out things for fear of recycling ‘wrong’. Clearly this lack of communication is the other major problem. I’ll be interested to see the results of the actual monitoring in order to determine if there are actually any other problems. The good news is we’re getting good information that will hopefully help us revamp recycling on campus to make it more effective.