Trash talk

What do you think when you walk through this campus and see the garbage containers outdoors and in the hallways and rooms of the buildings? Are you giving any thought to the items that you drop into the various receptacles? If you have been watching the news recently, you certainly should be.

I hear a lot of chatter these days about how environmentally conscious this generation is becoming, and about divestment, resource management, global warming and protecting the earth for the future. It gives me a good feeling to know that young people give a damn.

As one of the custodians who work at Mount Allison, I can say that as I go about my rounds, collecting the various garbage from the waste receptacles, I do not see very much commitment to our colour-coded waste system. Since it lies at the very beginning of the complex process of directing all of our discarded products to the appropriate waste, recycling and compost streams, it is of utmost importance to get it right – to ensure that the smallest amount possible of this stuff goes into the landfill dumps.

Presently, this University’s population, in general, is not doing a very good job of it. It’s well past the time to change your habits about trash. That goes for not just the students, but all of our staff as well. Some of you are doing a good job of separating your garbage, but it’s a very small part of the big picture.

I’m putting out a challenge to those of you who can make a difference, be it the MASU or whoever, to start an educational initiative for awareness of the three-coloured waste and recycling system. This needs to be a priority if we humans don’t want to live on this planet up to our necks in discarded plastic, diapers, and similar flotsam that gets thrown out each day. This way of thinking about garbage disposal needs to be part of the orientation program that each new student goes through upon arrival here, so that over time the mountain of junk that leaves here every day will have a better chance of going to the correct place.

Does anybody out there hear me?

Norm Sheppard
Norm Sheppard is a contributor to the Argosy.