Saturday, April 19, 2014

3rd Saturday


6th Watson

Observation: Four sack lunches concentrated in the same receptacle

Resources Recovered:

 from L to R: fruit, six eggs, full package of raw bacon, large tupperware container, nice box, peanut butter, coookies

Today was a big day for Gino, Beau, Henri and Jackson. Audrey, John, and Sarah, Raul and Oscar are lagging behind. Dig deeper guys.

The most delicious recovery today was the full package of bacon from Watson. That sucker was buried deep, but totally untainted. After the shift was through Henri and Jackson fried up the bacon and eggs for a little post-trash brunch.


Today I noticed there were interesting comments written on the Student Waste Stats poster that was presented to 3rd Nourse last term. The poster publicized data from Fall term.

My impression is that the students of the floor were skeptical about the data and generally confused about how to interpret the data and react to the information that was being presented to them. One comment said "cite your sources." This person probably doesnt realize that the data was collected on site, by the waste monitors. An example of a negative comment is "please remember to throw this in trash when done." Whoever wrote this is misinterpreting the purpose of this project. We are not concerned with encouraging people to throw things away; we are concerned with directing waste to the correct receptacles.

There was an accompanying flyer taped up next to the larger poster that had the Waste Monitors logo on it as well as the slogan "we are watching." This had many comments on it as well, the most compelling of which said "This is an invasion of our privacy." This is an interesting argument. Fundamentally, I believe that people should not feel as though their garbage is something to hide. If people do feel this way it is indicative of insecurity. Our garbage reflects who we are as people--what you throw away says as much about you as what you choose to keep.

I want to reassure the person who wrote this comment that we are not interested in the garbage for the reason they fear we are. We keep garbage under surveillance not because we are interested in individual items, but because we are interested in the bulk composition. We are only interested in individual items if they have some bearing on bulk composition (i.e coffee cups, sack lunches). We will never use what we find in the garbage to incriminate you. Rather, we will use information about bulk composition to encourage people to adopt responsible waste disposal practices. For the record, if you throw your sensitive something where it actually belongs--which is often the recycling, compost, or some combination of the two--then it wont attract our attention in the least.

This person has a legitimate concern and I am glad that they raised it.

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