Trash Day

October 19, 2009

by Dan Abrams, Second Nature Intern

"Garbage day is a very dangerous day."- Rocko, from Rocko's Modern Life

Rocko's Modern Life was a cartoon about a wallaby and his dog on Nickelodeon circa 1998.  It is a brilliant television show.  That quote has little to do with No Impact Week, but every time I garbage or trash day comes up in conversation, I can't help but to think of that quote.

If I could divide the environmental problem into subgroups and pick favorites, I would choose garbage/waste and food. The food post will come later, but in terms of trash I am a trash warrior.  Nearly all on campus housing options for upperclassmen at Northeastern are apartment-style with full kitchens.  So I have been cooking in an apartment for the last three years.  And you better believe that I bring a GIANT plastic tub to each and every apartment I move into for recycables.  I remember when I moved into my apartment last summer my roommate showed me a text he recieved from my other roommate that said, "Oh, no.  Now that we're living with Dan we have to start recycling."

I recycle EVERYTHING.  I think I recycle things that aren't even supposed to be recycled.  But whatever.  If it has a recycle sign and a number in it, it has the potential to be recycled.  We should be able to recycle all 1-7 plastics no matter the type so it's not my issue if the recycling facility which my recycling goes to decides it doesn't feel like recycling one of the numbers.  I also think that Northeastern's recycling program has much room for improvement, so by over-recycling I feel like I'm sending a message. :)

In a perfect world my apartment would have compost.  Nearly all my trash is food waste.  It really bugs me that the food has to go in the garbage because it would serve such a better purpose if it was thrown on the ground to make dirt.

So, to make the long story short, other than food waste I produce a very small amount of waste.

Tomorrow: Commute Day.  Oy.



October 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

I'm already realizing just how much of the trash I regularly produce is packaging. It's ridiculous. If nothing else, this week is making me hyper-aware of this. The husband and I are going to attempt to start a compost bin at home -- wish us luck! (It's a bit of a challenge for apartment dwellers, I think...)


October 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Further explanation as to recycling at Northeastern:

(1) Waste Manager (who is a Yankees fan I might add) has a team of 4 people to collect ALL recycling on campus. When asked if he should increase the number of people collecting recycling for a campus with about 15,000 people circulating in and out during the day, he says his team is fine. RIGHT.

(2) His view is that students should go out of their way to recycle. On our entire campus we have about 6 outdoor recycling receptacles. No one wants to carry a bottle or paper with them for 5 minutes before recycling them. If recycling initatives are to be successful, they need to be consistent across campus.

Sorry for being harsh, but it's frustrating when individuals become obstacles to positive change.

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