Friday, March 07, 2008


Ok, time for just a wee rant on the way the dayjob handles recycling. Not in any grand industrial fashion (I don't have the info on how that gets handled), just good ol' office-style recylcling: paper, bottles and cans, that sort of thing.

It's pretty much an open secret that the cleaning crew dumps the 'paper recycling' at the desks and the 'all round garbage' into the same bag, which then heads, presumably, to the truck to the barge to the landfill. My fellow cubicle-dwellers bitch about this from time to time, but I'm inclined to do a little finger-pointing of my own here: these same people can't manage to separate the 'garbage' from the bottles and the cans in the kitchen recycling bins (the contents of which, I allow myself to hope, actually find their way to recycling facilities). Came from lunch to see the food bags in which my peeps had got their lunch delivery tossed in the recycle bin (which even required lifting the lid that has the little bottle-sized holes in it.)

One especially self-righteous Greeny is among the offenders, which is extra-special annoying because he has a tendency to go off about how tiny his carbon footprint is (may not be the only tiny thing about him). This is the same guy who is pissed about the company's intention to phase out bottled water in favor of using filtered water from a cooler: "What do they expect us to do? Fill a cup? Then we're wasting cups?!" Um, dude, maybe re-use one of the 14,000 bottles you've gone through already. "Oh, so I'm saving old bottles, that are going to fall apart?" Well, I guess they will fall apart eventually, but... yeah. Maybe even wash them once in a while if you can live with the shame. Or, if they're really too flimsy for you, how 'bout one of those hard plastic Nalg*ne things: we've got those with one of our brand logos on the side, for fuck's sake. "What about when there's a conference? Do we get bottles of water for that? Or are we supposed to have our vendors go into the kitchen and fill up a paper cup?" I guess you're right, bro. Some people are too important to drink water from the same cooler as the rest of us. Sorry to have made you step down from the high horse (that somehow fits in your hybrid car) to have this conversation. Go back to Star*ucks, and whatever you do, don't bring your own mug.

Stupid thing to get upset about? Wouldn't be the first.

Ok - the company pays very good lipservice to environmental concerns, and is of the 'continuous improvement' school. They/we claim to be Greenifying at the industrial level, and maybe it's the case. They/we claim to have safe, fair labor practices, which is certainly true here in the States; I haven't been to the plants in Malaysia to check on them. And yes, yes, alright - I get the irony in the fact that I am perfectly happy to cash the paychecks this job provides. But it drives me a little bit nuts to wonder: if we suck so much at the easy stuff, how can we ever possibly tackle the hard stuff?

See, this is what happens when I am at my desk waaaaay too late on a Friday.

Maybe next week I'll write a few words about some of those 'improvements' that corporate has come up with...


The Green Cat said...

Sorry to say that any recyclables that end up in the trash go to the landfill. Likewise, if your recycling bin is contaminated with trash, the entire lo will go to the landfill. So, in effect, there was no point in separating the recycling in the first place. Sigh.

And for the guy who has the problem with filtered water, maybe he wants to try out one of these great new items on the market--they are called GLASSES! Oy!

syb said...

there's nothing ironic about cashing a paycheck. or about complaining about your employer yet still cashing your paycheck. it's called making ends meet.

and yeah, my employer is on a new kick to green as well, focusing first and foremost on the type and number of our recycling receptacles. but the sorting is still a problem for most. and the kosher dining hall makes it hard for those of us who would re-use food containers - because we can't. at least not in the dining hall with dining hall food. heck, i feel a little guilty/weird refilling my non-kosher nalg*ne at the dining hall water spigot, b/c i don't know if i'm unintentionally making everyone else sin.

and that self-righteous small footprint guy. ewww. enough.

and enough with the at work till 6 on a Friday! hope the rest of your night was much better!


mick said...

Oy is right! such craziness!

To Green Cat: The 'mixed paper' recycling was a lost cause all along, I think (though there are things in the works that may help with that); the bottles and cans are what I thought were working out for a while (and may yet, if people get their shit together).

To syb: yeah, I never thought about the recycling implications of kosher dining. Hmmm... As for being at work late on a Friday, I started writing that entry at 6 - didn't leave the place till after 7! Ugh!! But the rest of the night was much better, thanks for asking.