This fall, I gave New York University $13,845 for the glorious opportunity to spend one day each week in their newly minted journalism building in Manhattan. Apparently, what that steep price tag didn’t include was a few plastic bins for recycling bottles and cans. Perhaps the journalism department blew their entire yearly recycling container budget on the five paper recycling bins scattered across two floors and various classrooms?
The irony is I recently received an email about an NYU bike share program, which allows students to sign out bikes on campus when they need one. But what is the point of all these other sustainability measures if you can’t even sustain the most basic green practice of them all–recycling?!
Maybe if Bette Midler swung by NYU’s j-school she could inspire them to buy a few plastic recycle bins. If she can throw herself behind a mammoth project like restoring Central Park, maybe she could also use her powers of good at 20 Cooper Square. Even without a green Diva gracing our campus, isn’t recycling mandatory here in New York City? The situation is ridiculous, and embarrassing for a University that claims to prioritize sustainability.
Here’s an idea NYU, instead of buying a few bicycles for students who are already probably just walking to class, why don’t you spend that money on recycling and take a step toward lowering the campus’ collective carbon footprint.
(In case you didn’t know, recycling keeps items out of landfills – which emit methane and toxic chemicals. More imporantly recycling cuts down on resources being mined to make new products. Both of these things add to a total carbon footprint.)
Related on Scienceline:
A program that rewards recyclers.
Does it cost more to recycle a plastic bottle than make a new one?