Ramblings from the Recycler
By Recyclin’ Ric Laudenslager
An Introduction, Reintroduction and a Warning
It’s been nearly 4 years since I’ve written a Ramblings article. Some of you may remember the days when I wrote my column for the now defunct Blueprints, the monthly printed newspaper for Villanova faculty and staff. If you are one the people who remember those articles you will recall that they weren’t always your normal, run-of-the-mill ”please recycle your cans and bottles” kind of articles. Sometimes, in fact they were downright “out there”. For those of you who have never read my Ramblings articles in the past they were shall we say different than typical articles, but they were almost always fun and hopefully informative.
Even though I can no longer write for Blueprints I feel that the time is right to bring back the Ramblings articles. I always received great feedback from people who read the articles in the past and frankly I miss writing them. So I guess it is time to reintroduce Ramblings from the Recycler to some of you, introduce it to the new readers and send a warning to all of you. Why am I sending a warning everyone? Because in the past I wrote for a publication which had guidelines and deadlines, now I am writing for myself at my pace with my deadlines. Who knows what kind of ideas I’ll come up with no editor to stop me? Who knows how long I’ll ramble on about recycling topics such as the top 100 reasons why you should always rinse out your bottle before recycling it? For those of you who have read Ramblings in the past it must be a pretty scary thought that I can pretty much do whatever I want now that I’m my own editor.
Okay I won’t be that bad, but I will have a little more freedom now and instead of reading the article in printed form it will put on the Villanova University Recycling website to read at any time. I’m even going to put some of my articles from the past on the website so you can reminisce or get a taste of what to expect from me in the future. These will be called the Classic Ramblings.
While the past Ramblings articles in Blueprints came out about 9 times a year I am now planning to have a new article out every month. I will be posting a link to the article on Campus Currents so that everyone knows when a new article is out so they can find it at the Villanova University Recycling website.
As I am writing this I just realized that I just said that I am going to put out 12 articles a year! Wow, I had enough trouble sometimes just doing the 9 every year, just ask my past editor. She would tell you of the times when she would call me to remind me that the deadline is the end of the day today and that she did not yet receive an article from me. And my response was “What?” When those occasions occurred you can understand why Ramblings really fits the title well.
Now because I am a glutton for punishment and I am attempting to write articles year-round, I am asking for your help. If you have any ideas about what you want to hear about or what the campus community needs to hear about when it comes to recycling let me know. I am not too proud to borrow or steal someone else’s ideas. And if I don’t get any ideas from anyone don’t be surprised if I “recycle” one or some of my past articles just to see if you are paying attention or really because I was lazy. I look forward to sharing many articles with all of you in the future.
Ramblings from the Recycler
By Recyclin’ Ric Laudenslager
The 3 Big R’s Return
We’re back! After over 4 years of not being able to be in the same room together the 3 of me are finally back together to sit down and talk about recycling at Villanova. For those of you who are new to Ramblings and have not read any of the Classic Ramblings articles on the recycling website you probably have no idea what I mean by the 3 of me. For those of you who have read Ramblings in the past you know that the 3 of me refers to Recyclin’ Ric, Optimist Recyclin’ Ric, and Pessimist Recyclin’ Ric. Back in the original days of Ramblings the 3 of us (or me) used to get together and do interviews about recycling at Villanova. These interviews have rarely been civil and even though it’s been a long time it probably will not be civil this time as well. For those of you who question my state of mind after reading the interview, you are probably right to do so. Here we go again, enjoy!
Recyclin’ Ric (RR): I cannot believe that it’s been over 4 years since we have been able to sit in the same room and discuss recycling at Villanova, do you think that we can do it somewhat civilly this time? After all we do have new readers after such a long time away and it would be nice to set a good impression for them.
Optimist Recyclin’ Ric (ORR): I’m excited to be back after such a long time to talk about all of the wonderful things that are happening with recycling at Villanova. It’s been way too long.
Pessimist Recyclin’ Ric (PRR): I can’t believe that we are actually going to do this again. So we are back again to start spreading more lies about how great Villanova University Recycling is. Recycling was bad 4 years ago and it’s still bad today, nothing has changed at all.
ORR: What are you talking about? Our numbers are better than ever. We are recycling more total material than we ever have at our highest recycling rate ever and trash has gone down every year in the past 4 years. When you consider all of those facts recycling at Villanova is on its way up.
PRR: What are talking about here, a couple of percentage points and a few thousand pounds more recycling? With all of the trash that is hauled out of here every day our recycling efforts can be compared to being a drop in the ocean.
ORR: Why do you have to exaggerate everything? Everyone knows that more trash goes out of here than recycling, but we have made progress and we continue to make progress. Sometimes you need to just shut……..
RR: Okay, I haven’t even asked a question yet and you two are already going at it. It’s like we are right back where we were 4 years ago. At the rate you two are going I’ll never get this interview done in a decent amount of time and I’m already a month behind.
ORR: Why are you a month behind?
RR: Well, the first article went out in April and I promised that I would write an article every month and here it is June already. But, the reason that I’m behind is that we just got done with student move-out which is always a busy time, so I think people will understand why I’m a month late.
PRR: Do you really think that they will understand? Is this the same way that they “understand” the difference between a trash can and a recycle bin? Is it the same way that they “understand” that a half a cup of coffee does not go into a mixed paper bin? Is it the same way that they “understand”…….
RR: Okay, I think you’ve made your point, but once again you exaggerate the truth. Yes, the things you mention do happen from time to time, but overall the Villanova community strongly supports recycling and the majority of the time they use the recycling bins properly. And I think that we can counter your claim that the Villanova community doesn’t understand recycling by the success that we had with student move-out this year.
PRR: What do you mean by “success” for move-out this year? We had the lowest amount of donations then we ever had before. What kind of rose-colored glasses are you looking through?
RR: If you will let me finish, yes, donations were the lowest ever, but so was the overall trash. While the students may not have participated in recycling they did participate in a more important “R” than recycling, they were reusing instead. To me that shows that they do “understand”.
ORR: You are right. In past years during student move-out the dumpsters were overflowing with trash for the entire time. This year the dumpsters only started to get filled up toward the end of move-out. Once again, that’s progress.
RR: Before we run out of time I want to make sure that we mention and welcome Villanova’s new and first sustainability manager, Liesel Schwarz. She is going to help lead the charge in “greening” Villanova and help us to improve recycling as well.
PRR: Ha, ha! Now that’s funny!
RR: I’m sorry, did I say something amusing?
PRR: Yes, in fact I do find it amusing that there is another person like yourself who is convinced that you are going to change anyone on this campus from being their wasteful and non-green selves. She is just another sap just like you.
ORR: Why do you always have to go there? You know that basically everything that you said is not true. First of all the Villanova community is committed to being green. I mean look at all of our recycling advocates on campus, we have over 50 of them. And what about all of the people on the waste minimization and recycling committee, they are making strides to “green” the campus every day. And second you act as if it’s a bad thing that we have a new sustainability manager. This person is here to help us and make our job easier, you should be happy about that not making fun of the situation. The thing is that you just don’t get it and you never will! You just need to take a………….
RR: I think I better stop you right there before you say something that you’ll regret. At this point we should wrap things up for this month because I think we probably scared most people away at this point and we’ve pretty much reached our word limit. Do I even dare to ask you guys if you have any final comments before we go?
ORR: Thanks for stopping me from saying anything more. I think that we can end by saying that Villanova University Recycling has grown during our 4 year media absence and that community is committed to helping it grow. Good things are happening.
RR: Anything more from you Pessimist?
PRR: Do you really want more from me? I mean haven’t I helped to scare most people away as you just stated?
RR: Yes, you’re right I think that everyone has had enough for one day. I just want to give one more shout out to welcome Liesel to the Villanova family before we go. We’ll see you all next time and hopefully we’ll be a bit more civil.