The university has had its moments of leadership in the field of environmental awareness, but it continues to neglect the everyday problems that keep our campus fresh and clean.

A report released last week by the Sustainable Endowments Institute highlights several of the university’s environmentally-friendly achievements.

The immense photovoltaic cell array atop the Bunn Intercultural Center is one of the university’s most practical and environmentally friendly features – the 3,318 square-foot span inspired by the early 1980s energy crisis saves the university more than $40,000 per year in electrical costs.

The university also deserves recognition for its Fuel Cell Bus Program, which receives grant money from both the federal government and private sources. The program, now in its third phase, serves as an example to schools considering alternatively fueled transportation.

But Georgetown’s effort to be ahead of the environmental curve should not end with these efforts. Very small annoyances contribute to one very large problem that the university and students must both address.

Large waste items lie half-buried under leaves in the woods behind Yates Field House, spilling an avalanche of filth down the hill into the park. The university could eliminate this eyesore without much effort and prevent waste from further polluting the forest.

Residents of Henle Village have become accustomed to wading through piles of garbage and recyclables left by environmentally unconscious students who are not willing to properly use that area’s trash chute. Recycling bins are in sufficient quantity in all of Georgetown’s apartment complexes and residence halls. The burden falls to students to make use of them.

We must all be conscious of the appearance of our campus. Swift Potomac’s lovely daughter shouldn’t be a dirty child.

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