To Recycle, Compost, or just Trash?

Every student’s visit to the food court in Cox Hall, one of Emory’s largest dining halls, generates quite a bit of trash. Because of the diversity of Cox’s offerings—Chick-Fil-A, Pizza Hut, the Deli, and more—this waste comes in all varieties, too: thin cardboard cartons, Styrofoam boxes, plastic knives and forks, soy sauce and ketchup packets. While sorting these out and recycling them appropriately might only be a matter of taking a few moments to look at the labels, some students feel that they don’t have the time to find out what goes into recycling, composting, or just the trash. College sophomore Daniel F. weighs in:

            I like to think that I care about the environment, but there are times when I just can’t sort out what’s what. It gets confusing when you start bringing a lot of these packages together…

Emory, luckily, is making it easier for bewildered students like Daniel to live in a sustainable way.  Emory now has glass containers above each bin with all of the different types of goods appropriate to that bin kept within. Because of the sheer diversity of packaging and utensils that Cox Hall offers, many students previously threw all of their trash away into the “landfill” containers, unsure of or unwilling to sort the waste out. Now, with all the recycling and compost containers clearly marked out, we can hope that students find it more natural to throw refuse into the suitable bins. The best part is, these disposal bins might begin to build good habits in students so that they’ll continue to recycle another time when there are no such visual aids. (At least until single-stream recycling comes to Georgia!)

If you enjoyed the post, please check out the blog for Second Nature, a student organization at Emory that promotes a holistic, healthy lifestyle. Find us here.

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