SV’s trash culture

Text and photo: Natasza Bogacz 

You may not see the point in recycling. But the point of recycling may not lay in the point of recycling. What if it is a proxy for you being willing to identify as a part of the solution rather than the problem? Students at Det samfunnsvitenskapelige fakultet seem to not quite get that.

An erudite boy with no fucks to give

I have a friend who comes from Pakistan. He is the most eloquent young man imaginable. He knows all the best words. He wants to study English at Oxford when he grows up. Although just 20 years old, his intellectual level makes him hangable for the 28-year-old cow that I am. And still…

“Those trash sorting bins are a continuous source of my pain and misery.”

It’s Sunday night. We hang out. He helps me stay off Facebook while I study at the common room in 2nd floor, SV building. After I’d had enough, we raise ourselves, pack and proceed toward the trash cans. Those are famously supposed to help bring UiO to its 80 percent goal on sorting its waste by 2018. Imagine my disappointment when I saw my friend completely ignoring the “kildesortering” labels as we did away with our the little rubbish we had

Those trash sorting bins are a continuous source of my pain and misery. It hurts to look at them, or rather, to be precise, into them. It is not that I am looking purposely, the gaze just wanders to the bottom, especially with the ones that are low enough to display its content to one’s eyes, at least to my eyes, placed 160 cm above the ground. I am feeling something very real and dark, and very close to physical pain: frustration.

A Polish saying about zeal

Now, some people, they don’t care. To try to frustrate them is like trying to achieve the FOMO effect with a sloth. You can try, but if you do, it would probably mean that you are a frustrate just like me. Since there is nothing more frustrating than trying to convince someone to care about something that you care about with only apathy or, even worse, disregard as a response, I would suggest you drop the whole project altogether. Still, as the scripture says, this world’s Undergang will be brought by the careless and the ignorant. This comes from someone who was brought up in a country, where every citizen hearing: “Overzealousness…” will reply: “… worse than fascism”. Let’s just say I disagree.

Some men just want to see the world burn 

My point: Makrell-i-tomat cans in bio waste, plastic in paper waste, bottles with pant in “other” waste. My question: why? Why?! WHY! Why-hy-hy-hyyy… I cannot comprehend it. The only answer that comes back form the abyss of chaos and despair is that people have no fucks to give. I would argue that: in this case? They should.

“Since the University of Oslo made this commitment, this statement – for it is primarily a statement, a green signal of caring – why not support your school?”

Do not get me wrong. I love the meme, the idea, the lifestyle of realistic pessimism, of not caring enough to get disappointed a-gain, or to be so filled with integrity as to being immune to everyone else’s opinion.  In this case, it doesn’t even matter if you “believe” in recycling, if you “believe” in global warming, or if you consider yourself responsible for anything at all, yet alone the planet.


Photo: Natasza Bogacz

What recycling is really about

Recycling has had its ups and downs. Especially the kerbside version, which is what you have under your sink and what SV has now all over, has been bombarded with claims of pointlessness. Let the robots do the work. Don’t let people be fooled into thinking that by sorting through their trash they are making any difference. Probably not, I am not the one to tell, at least not in one tiny article. But for the gradually-more-unpopular Christ’s sake! Since the University of Oslo made this commitment, this statement – for it is primarily a statement, a green signal of caring – why not support your school? Why not use the bins correctly? Why? Is this some kind of contra-statement? Popular resistance to idiocy of recycling? My claim is: I wish! The truth is less acceptable than a conscious choice, namely that the students have not enough fucks to give.

In the long run we’re all dead

My Pakistani friend, he does not care. His reply: “Bad upbringing. The fact that I’ll be dead before this planet.” He has simply never bothered – he is not used to the effort. The struggle is real for many international students. Either they do not read the Norwegian labels, and if they do, the guidelines may still be difficult to get in English. Or they had simply never done anything like that back home and miss the point entirely. What kind of excuse do the Norwegians have? However, as long as you try, it is all about the message you send. The current one at SV is: Not enough fucks was given that day. And the day after that. And the day after that.


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