My illustration post this week is about recycling at RIT, specifically at RITZ Sportszone. This is an image of the trash and recycling right outside of RITZ. (Michael already posted about food waste, but I figured that this was different enough.)

A couple of years ago, one of my friends worked at RITZ and said to me, “Did you know that RITZ doesn’t recycle?” I didn’t understand at first. Then he elaborated and told me that it was part of his job to take out trash and to just throw the trash and recycling into the same place. I found this pretty shocking. In fact, as I was taking this photo tonight, I ran into one of my other friends who’s a student manager there. As I was crouching next to trashcans he asked me what I was doing and when I told him, without pause said “oh yeah, I pretty sure no one here does. There’s like only one dumpster out back everything goes into.” Was this a hoax? An issue no one has been talking about? Have the recycling bins just been a placebo all along to give the school a more echo friendly vibe. One that gives students no reason to complain?





This is not news worthy because it could look really bad on the school. This image at surface level is just two uninteresting appearing trash and recycling bins. People also probably don’t really want to know about it because it disrupts the expectation of the action. It would also create a pretty negative effect on the student body; one that renders students even more neglectful of recycling. If placing things in the recycling bin doesn’t result in what we expect it to, what is the point in making that effort? I know that ever since my friend told me about the recycling cans I honestly have been almost unconcerned about putting in the effort to recycle at dining areas on campus and that attitude is a problem. I know that part of the issue is that students throw trash into the recycling most of the time, making it un recyclable. This knowledge would probably only increase the problem. However, looking past those negatives, people can’t take action for the basic premise of recycling if they don’t know that it is an issue at our school in the first place. 


One thought on “Placebo

  1. I think this was a very interesting post that you made. When I thought about what would make a picture not newsworthy, but still interesting, I thought about a picture of something simple and mundane that actually hides a larger issue behind it. This is exactly what your picture is. Seeing garbage and recycling cans is something we do every day and don’t think much of it. But in this case, there is a hidden message about what we are seeing in the picture that makes it very noteworthy, regardless of the fact that it is a simple and ordinary picture.

    It really surprises me that that RITZ Sports Zone does not recycle. I have heard constantly since I have been at RIT that the university is very devoted to sustainability and the environment and has taken numerous initiatives for this purpose. It is very strange to me that RIT publicizes this environmental consciousness so much, yet doesn’t actually live up to their image. RIT would not want this information to get out, which is why it would never be published. RIT has decided that their self-proclamations of sustainability are newsworthy, but no one would ever think that these simple garbage cans that reveal RIT’s hypocrisy would be newsworthy. But in reality the message behind the picture should be very newsworthy.

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