My roommate, Kenna, and I walked to the back of JMac where we encountered a ton of rubbish scattered around the parking lot. My jaw dropped. So this is how I’m spending my afternoon? I thought to myself. I rolled up my sleeves and put on some gloves as I approached the piles of garbage.
After a couple of bags, I started to understand the dynamics of sorting through trash and I understood where things went. But, the deeper my hands went into the trash, the more frustrated I became with the materialistic society that does not opt to reduce, reuse, and recycle but rather goes for convenience and ease.
The thing that frustrated me the most were the coffee cups of large corporations. Starbucks, Einstein Bros.– none of these recyclable or compostable. Starbucks’ customers use approximately 4 billion of these cups a year, almost all of which go straight to the landfill to be piled up as a monument of this generations’ tenacity of convenience and inability to correctly dispose of waste. Starbucks claims that they are working towards leaving a smaller ecological footprint but they need to pick up the pace. It is 2016 and one cannot recycle or compost a cup from perhaps the most popular coffee company in the world.
There is also an on-campus problem with composting. Out of all the residential halls on campus, MacFarlane 2-3 is the only hall that has a composting bin ( to my knowledge). It is a hassle to compost on DU’s campus. You either have to go to the library or a dining hall and most people will simply opt to throw it out rather than walk to another building. It is inconvenient when composting should be readily available for waste. Hopefully, DU will move towards a greener campus and look into getting more compost bins into residential buildings.
My overall experience at Mount Trashmore was eye opening and I’m glad I did it. Even if I got my hands dirty and dealt with some gross waste, I was proud of myself and how I dispose of my trash compared to other people but I was definitely saddened by the lack of knowledge in waste management by the general public.