Friday, April 11, 2008

Irritates Me

A while back, this office building moved to become more environmentally conscious. One of the changes was that they took away our trash cans. We still have trash cans in the common areas, but the ones at our desks are unlined and are for commingled recyclables: paper, cans, plastic bottles, glass, or whatever. But you are not supposed to put garbage in there, i.e., used paper plates, discarded kleenex, food waste, etc. (The fact that they are unlined is a good reminder of this.)

It's inconvenient because you tend to get little trash piling up around your desk. I keep a paper cup on my desk in which to put things like small candy wrappers and used tea bags, but sometimes other things pile up in an annoying way. But overall I think it is a good plan and it has greatly reduced the amount of waste our building produces.

But recently, two different people have admitted to me that they just put their trash in there anyway. That pisses me off because, you know, it just means someone at the processing facility has to go through and take out your own personal garbage and route it to garbage. I'm sure I sometimes throw away something that isn't really recyclable because I'm just mistaken about it, but I try to do it right.

And just this morning, another coworker picked some dead leaves off a plant in my office and then threw them in my trash. "You can't-!" I started, but it was too late. So I pulled them out. She didn't understand why they couldn't go in there since they are biodegradable.

"But they're not recyclable," I said. "You can't put them in here."

"Oh. I always put them in mine," she said, shrugging.



Sally said...

This may be a case of reducing the amount of waste the building produces by a good percentage of it going out in the recycling bins.

I think this idea is crazy. It is basically inconceivable to me that they thought they would get widespread conformity to the rules.

Obviously I would have brought my own trash can and a stash of plastic grocery store bags to work.

Tam said...

Just in case I wasn't clear, we do have trash cans in our kitchen, file room, and a few other common areas. It's just that you do have to get up from your desk.

Sally said...

Right, but realistically, few people are going to want to go to another room to throw away a kleenex or candy bar wrapper.