J500 Media and the Environment

garbage(n): aka litter, debris, junk, filth, waste, rubbish by Sarah
February 26, 2008, 8:47 pm
Filed under: Waste + Recycling | Tags: , , ,

Soooo one of my roommates accidentally threw out the trash before I could snap a picture of our ridiculously full kitchen trash can for this post…but now that I think about it, that probably saved me from a great deal of embarrassment. My puppy Romeo is happy though because he got in the picture at least! (Sorry I’m a little obsessive, he’s my child) Anyways, sometimes I can’t believe how much waste the three of us generate together in a day in this garbage can. This also seriously pisses me off because we live on the third floor and I hate hauling the trash to the dumpster, but that’s beside the point right?

Had I gotten a good picture of my personal garbage (imagine with me here), it probably would have consisted of the following: used coffee filters (Hi my name is Sarah, and yes, I am a caffeine-addict), empty sushi boxes, coffee cups from Dunn Brothers (usually my second fix of the day by the time I make this pit stop), string cheese wrappers (obsessed), a cheez-its box, definetley at least one Weight Watchers Smart Ones box (I pretty much live off these things until I can learn how to cook), and LOTS of paper towels. I don’t know why, but I cannot seem to kick my frivolous paper towel using habit…I’m working on it. Oh and after two weeks of our refrigerator smelling like a dead person was frozen in it, we finally found the source of the stench…a rotten tomato (yes, it was mine – and they blame me). So make sure and add that to my trash pile.

Photo: CRW Engineering Group, LLC

After our recent field trip to Hamm Landfill, the composting site, and the recycling center, I am even more motivated to recycle. I couldn’t believe how much paper we use. The landfill trip really opened my eyes to all the garbage we produce. I also proceeded to spread the word to my roommate, Sam Hamm (yes, as in Hamm Landfill) that she alone fills up half the garbage can in the kitchen from all her fast food wrappers and that she should cut back and not contribute to the landfill her family owns. She laughed, but trust me, I’m workin’ on her. My goal by the end of the semester is to get her to recycle 🙂 We’ll see…

-Sarah Nelson


4 Comments so far
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[…] snelson33 wrote an interesting post today on garbage(n): aka litter, debris, junk, filth, waste, rubbishHere’s a quick excerpt… time I make this pit stop), string cheese wrappers (obsessed), a cheez-its box, definetley at least one Weight Watchers Smart Ones box (I pretty much live off these things until I can learn how to cook), and LOTS of paper towels. … […]

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Sarah, What does your consumption say about you? Take look at this post and the Harris Poll that indicates about 23% of Americans don’t recycle and tell me how you’re gonna convince Sam when her family actually profits from us not recycling. . .

Simran Sethi

Comment by j500

After we visited the landfill I learned that the amount of trash we were looking at was the 2 to 3 feet of “lift” for the *day* for Northeast Kansas. (Lift is the amount of earth and trash in the layer. ) One day, from all those households and businesses. Imagine how much there is for a year.

You’re in a great position to cut down on the paper you throw away, beyond recycling. I once loved cleaning with paper towels and I used them with reckless abandon. But they are expensive, and I am motivated by my budget. One way I cut down on using paper towels was to set aside a drawer full of dishrags and towels that I didn’t care about much. You can use them to clean up messes and then you can wash and reuse them. Sure, that uses energy, too, but you’re probably doing laundry anyway. I’ve found that I’m less likely to reach for the paper towels (so a roll lasts a loooong time) when I have a kitchen towel handy.

– Jen Humphrey

Comment by jenh


I know we have a long road ahead of us in convincing people to recycle, and that recyling is actually worth the effort. I like to stay optimistic about it though, the more we work at talking to others, the more people will start to understand. I have experienced that first hand just by blasting my friends ears off about the environment and global worming all through my CReSIS campaign and into this class.

As far as Sam Hamm (haha I love typing her name), I like to think that her thought process is not to recycle strictly because her family profits from trash, I know for a fact she doesn’t think like that. It’s just my own personal goal to get her to try and recycle at our apartment (and then maybe share that with her family, haha). All I’m trying for is a personal first step for her.

-Sarah Nelson

Comment by snelson33

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