The library’s contents are being wasted

For any of you who may have glanced into the windows of the now-derelict Roscoe L. West Library, there’s quite a bit of junk inside.

The interior, which is currently used for storage, has that post-apocalyptic look of, for example, the video game “Half Life 2.”

Earlier this year, I was talking to an administrator, who assured me that the old furniture left in the library would be recycled or otherwise salvaged.

While I was walking to class one day this semester, I noticed several dumpsters next to the entrance of the old library. Upon asking the workers what was going to become of the stuff being hauled away, I was informed that it was going to be thrown out.

Now, what was in those dumpsters? Surely it was just lots of the broken library equipment from that post-apocalyptic interior of the Roscoe L. West Library, right? With no practical use?

Looking inside the dumpsters, I could see a large numbers of chairs – both wooden and desk chairs – tables, couches and other assorted furniture. The majority of it appeared to be in reasonably good shape.

You’re probably thinking: “Well, that’s nice that you don’t want this stuff thrown out, but what could the school possibly do with it? I mean, who wants old furniture, anyway?”

Well, for one thing, we’re at a college. Reasonable amounts of students are interested in recycling. I proved that was true myself, when I extracted several desk chairs from one of the dumpsters and was able to quite easily give them to several passers-by.

Unfortunately, I was limited in how much I could take from the dumpsters, due to the fact that everything in the dumpsters – including the worker’s lunches – was haphazardly thrown in. Evidently, none of the furniture was going to be recycled.

Of course, in my aforementioned conversation with an administrator, I was told the furniture would be salvaged, something that, I believe, is technically true.

The furnishings will indeed be salvaged, in the same sense that computers are recycled in China – by extracting any possibly valuable material and trashing the rest. Or, in the case of China, throwing the rest in the nearest river.

While this end certainly makes sense for the seemingly infinite amount of bookshelves being removed – an individual dumpster was set aside for these alone – it seems rather nonsensical for couches, tables and desk chairs which can easily be reused or donated to charity.