"Where’s My Garbage Can?"

Imagine my surprise when I arrived to work this morning, and sitting under my desk was my recycling bin …

And an itty bitty black bin attached to it. And no garbage can.

“Where’s my garbage can?” was the first thing I asked.

I soon found out the answer: our workplace had implemented this new system where all employees now have to separate their garbage and recycling and toss them into the appropriate bins.

Some people reading this – whose workplaces may already be doing this – are probably saying, “So? Big deal.”

To be honest, I grumbled about it for five minutes, but once I did it a couple times, I didn’t really think it was an enormous deal. But I’ve heard other people grumbling about it all day and shaking their heads.

I don’t think it’s the idea that’s bugging people so much as the way it’s being carried out.

For example, apparently there was an e-mail sent out about it a few weeks back. I don’t remember seeing the e-mail. Then again, I’m sure most corporate e-mails that get sent out through the office are generally ignored, so I don’t think I was the only one who missed it.

Secondly, there are stations around the building. But the complaint there is having to get up and walk over to one of these stations everytime you have something that’s not paper, that needs to be thrown out. Me, I don’t mind, because I like getting up every once in a while to walk around and stretch my legs … and I also bring my lunch, so I have a Tupperware container to toss out my chicken bones. But, as might be the argument going around, if you have a fruit peel or a coffee cup, you either have to get up and go to the recycling station, or you have to stuff it in the itty bitty bin and hope it gets emptied.

Lastly, when I arrived this morning, there were these itty bitty blue bins with wheels (in my case, two, ’cause I must somehow have a bigger carbon footprint than anyone in my work unit), which each had a pen and a sticky thing with the name and the number of the maintenance company who works for us, plus a little brochure about how the recycling stations work. An issue that always comes up time to time in our company is how we sometimes can’t afford certain things, and how we don’t have enough money.

Um … I don’t know how much it costs to separate garbage as opposed to just dumping it … but how much did it cost to buy all those mini blue-bins? ‘Cause our company isn’t small. There’s, like, 2,000 people in the building. One of my co-workers already heard this crazy rumour those little “awareness” bins cost $10 apiece. It’s probably not true … but wouldn’t the black bins and brochures have been enough? I’m just sayin’.

I’m sure over time, people will get used to the system and just separate their garbage out of habit.

Or, they might do what one person did when they threw out the plastic cup holding their sundae – spoon, gunk and all – into the organic waste bin …

Elect not to care as a sign of personal protest.


2 thoughts on “"Where’s My Garbage Can?"

  1. stine says:

    i heard about this brainy idea. seems like a weird policy to bring in when we were ALREADY recycling and they have bigger issues to deal with. It’s truly heart-warming that they care for the environment that much, but how about some basic employee rights like staff jobs and benefits? Just a thought!

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