The Urban Dictionary will tell you that NIMBY is an acronym for Not In My BackYard, to describe the attitude of those who will want to benefit from the advantages of a particular action, but who find that the disadvantages are suddenly unacceptable. The usual situation where nimbyism is typically decried is in an urban setting- opposing a road or a shopping mall coming up too close to ones home, for instance. Of course things are not always a clear case of either/or, so there can be both good and bad connotations to being nimbyistic.
By extension, IMBY describes the opposite attitude. Which would, of course, be acceptable in many situations, especially when there is a clear idea of the greater public good. Regrettably though, and this is the subject of the present post, when it comes to the matter of waste disposal on our campus, imbyism is simply unacceptable. The photographs here are of various sites in and around the central part, behind the Science complex, and near the School of Humanities. More could have been taken, and some of them would illustrate that even less desirable stance: IMNBY or In My Neighbour’s BackYard!
Many of you will have noticed that there is a concerted effort being undertaken to “clean-up” the campus. The quotes are there to underscore the fact that it is not an effort to prettify the campus in some very artificial way- as superficially attractive as a manicured campus might be, it is not the way our UoH campus is. However, with the dense undergrowth that has been uncared for for many years, the foliage has covered a multitude of sins, mostly that of the way in which we dispose of our waste. Everywhere one can see discarded bottles- both plastic and glass, styrofoam packaging, all manner of trash and garbage. A catalogue of what we throw away would reveal a little too much of ourselves… and I will not go into that. But it can all be seen and sometimes the close proximity of a garbage can makes it all the more tragic.
One spot that worried me a great deal is the pool that has formed behind Gopes, one that is dangerously close to a water source. Waste management on the campus is a joint responsibility – if the system is to work in any manner at all, it needs constant supervision. Drains need to be kept flowing, so trash needs to be segregated and disposed of properly… while making sure that blockages are removed periodically. There is no other solution- we need to work together on this, and on a continual basis.
In the end, it is our campus. Emphasis on our. And keeping it clean and safe is something that all of us should want. So while it is nice to have slogans- Clean Campus, Green Campus or Mana Campus, Mana Hridayam and all that- its essential to go beyond them and see that public spaces on the campus stay unpolluted. That would be the best way we can make the campus habitable for all its denizens, the flora and the fauna, in addition to us…