Sustainable Dickinson?

From: Rizwan Saffie ’14
Published: May 1, 2011

It is no secret that Dickinson College is highly dedicated to being sustainable. The college has even earned an A grade in the College Sustainability Report Card for several reasons. Some of these reasons include the college’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2020, the use of a biodiesel plant, spending 50% of the college’s food budget on local items, having a trayless dining hall, the Center for Sustainability Education’s integration of campus sustainability with academic programs and the high level of student involvement. It is gratifying to know that my peers are doing their part in helping Dickinson to have a sustainable campus. When I first arrived at Dickinson, I was impressed by the ubiquitous presence of recycling and compost receptacles all over campus- and I do mean it when I say all over. A sense of pride would pervade my body every time I observed students placing their waste into these receptacles- in every building and at every turn. It is, then, no surprise that this sense of pride obviously intensified when I took a closer look at these receptacles. What I found was extremely pleasing: items meant to be in the trash can were placed into recycling and compostable receptacles. Other mix-ups were quite prevalent too- recyclable materials were put to be disposed of as trash or composted and compostable materials were left to be recycled or dumped in the trash. I smiled every time I saw this- in every building and at every turn. Is it not indeed phenomenal that everyone is doing their part to build a more sustainable campus the right way? Maybe it is because everyone cares about the environment- or is it that we are well-versed as to what is classed as trash, compostable and recyclable. Whatever it is, we most definitely deserve an A for our efforts!