• Updated : 2021.9.15 수 16:33
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Now Is the Time to Find Adequate Solutions to Waste Problems on Campus
조범서 기자  |  sinsowezon@naver.com
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승인 2021.09.10  17:00:07
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
   
▲ A student separating garbage using the proper method for recycling waste

Over the past couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic, the quantity of waste generated on the campus of Chonnam National University (CNU) is less than before. Actually, the total amount of waste disposed at the university was reduced from 886 tons in 2019 to 798 tons in 2020, according to the Facilities Management of the Office of Administrative Affairs. However, after weekends or holidays, it is not difficult to see piles of waste next to overflowing garbage bins on campus, due to a lack of facilities for recycling and trash disposal outside the buildings. This is not a totally new issue. Students have been demanding the installation of more trash bins so that they can put their waste away properly. Now it is time to look for adequate measures to solve the waste problem. The Chonnam Tribune checked the state of the waste problem and suggests practical solutions so that all university members can make our campus eco-friendly and sustainable.

More Trash Bins Needed

“Take back your waste to make a pleasant environment for everyone.” A sign with this slogan was put next to Bongji Fountain by the General Student Council (GSC), as part of a campaign to make the campus more waste-free. Many students and visitors have complained that they cannot find a proper place to throw their trash away on campus, and when they found trash bins, they were often filled to the brim. Oh Dae-seung (Freshman, Department of Animal Science) said, “It is true that it is hard to find a trash bin when we are walking through the campus, but it is also sad to see all the waste just lying on the school ground.” This is one of the old problems students have faced during their campus life. Separate bins where students and visitors can sort and discard their waste are usually inside buildings, which are far less accessible than general trash bins they can find nearby. This appears to make them undesirably put different types of waste in one single trash bin. This behavior makes the waste problem worse as people start to pile their garbage next to the bins when they no longer have the ability to fit more trash in.

   
▲ Overflowing outdoor garbage bins found throughout the campus

Installing more trash-related facilities on campus could be a simple solution. However, this seems to be very difficult to put into practice because of the university’s annual budget. Choi Su-yeong (Senior, Faculty of Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences), who works in the division of planning and coordination of the GSC said, “The university authorities are aware of the current waste problem in campus outdoor spaces, but they regard it as a seasonal phenomenon. Actually, with tight budgets, they cannot afford to assign a budget for installing more waste facilities.” This situation leaves the necessity of the individual’s effort to make the campus a better place, hence the GSC starting a campaign to take back our own waste. However, if garbage facilities were more equipped around several outdoor spots such as the Main Stadium and the Yongji Pond, the on-campus waste problem would be improved. Authorities need to make practical measures to allocate a small budget for adding a minimum amount of trash bins.

Waste Separation Required

Disposable products that we use for convenience play a big part in our lives, particularly during this pandemic. CNU members are using more online delivery services for foods on campus in their daily lives than they were before the coronavirus situation. As a result, it has made the university waste problem worse. No Seung-hoon (Freshman, Dept. of Industrial Engineering) said, “Since I live in a school dormitory, I often use food delivery services for my meals. Mostly, it comes with disposable products including plastic bags for food containers or plastic cutlery.”

   
▲ Overflowing outdoor garbage bins found throughout the campus

Many recyclables are currently being disposed as general waste at the university. Many students tend to just throw their waste away in any trash bin they can find nearby without sorting them in a proper way. The actual separation of this waste is done outside the campus by a garbage disposal company. With the increase in use of disposable products on campus, students not sorting out waste also contributes to make the waste separation and disposal problem worse at the university.

This improper waste separation problem leaves room for an overall change in view on how we should take care of waste. Should we sort recyclables and disposable waste, or should we simply reduce the use of disposable products as that might also be a solution which could adequately function.

Moving towards an Eco Campus

CNU is currently planning a project to build an eco-campus, which contains programs such as reducing plastic use while providing on-campus services and separating recyclable waste. This will change the waste disposal system and our daily behavior at the university. However, it should not only be the effort of sanitation workers who collect waste from every part of the campus to improve the waste problem on the campus.

   
▲ A banner next to Bongji Fountain with a slogan to encourage taking back trash

All university members can also contribute by using fewer disposable products, separating waste before we dispose it, and taking the waste with them until they find a proper place for disposal. Changing the habits and culture of a community might be difficult, but with the efforts of every individual, and the organized help of the school, achieving a cleaner campus environment just might become possible. We must now make a cleaner campus by solving the waste problem in order to move towards an eco-friendly and sustainable campus.

By Jo Beom-seo, Student Editor

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