Recycling gone too far

My current workplace is, to put it simply, mad for the recycling. This is something everybody should be more active in but I’ve never seen a workplace embrace the principles of recycling so wholeheartedly. It’s not done in a hippie way (and I’ve worked at Lonely Planet, so I know the hippie way) but in a totally pragmatic way. And it’s also done very comprehensively.

We are way beyond recycling bins here. Along with that, we have rainwater tanks on site and the collected rainwater is used to flush toilets. The men’s toilets have these new-fangled waterless urinals (this probably won’t mean anything to female readers but male readers will recognise how unusual it is). All printing and copying is done double sided to save paper. This obviously saves a lot of paper and while the focus here is on environmental reasons for doing it, I think all businesses should do it simply as a cost saving measure. The first big business I heard was doing this was the Westpac Bank back in the 90s. They did it purely to cut costs and saved a fortune.

There are a lot of “message” posters about encouraging recycling, most of which are fucking stupid and sometimes downright embarrassing (“Print an email or save a rainforest?”) Although one of them actually made me laugh. It features a cartoon of people around a meeting table with the manager saying: “War and Peace, The Sunday Times, even the Bible are all printed double sided. But Bob’s report… Bob’s report is sooooo important he just had to print it single sided.”

The recycling committee decided to kick it up a notch recently and introduce food waste bins and this is where I think they’ve gone too far. I think composting food waste instead of sending it to landfill is an excellent idea but I’m very suspicious of this initiative. There’s two things I don’t like: one, they’ve gone to the trouble of pointing out that all food produced in the canteen can go into the food waste bin. The second, and far more disturbing, thing is that these bins have a tap on the bottom. Why the fuck do “waste” bins have a tap on the bottom that looks like a dispenser?

Just how many times are they planning to recycle the canteen food?

Maybe I’m the suspicious type but they seem to be serving a lot of soups and indistinct looking stews in the canteen since these bins were introduced. I’m bringing in my own food until someone can convince me that I haven’t seen the “Chef’s Surprise” before.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Recycling gone too far

  1. Salamaat,
    hahaha…what a hilarious Monday morning read!!! EWWWW…i don’t wanna know about the tap thing…how gross!

    We are on the other extreme end of NO RECYCLING whatsoever. People print 100s of pages and just leave them lying around the printer for weeks until they are eventually trashed…i always wonder do they print to “feel” productive? Do they simply forget about it? What’s the point?

    I try to be conscientious about it; but here i’m like the little drop in an ocean….

    hahahah..but recycling food…hahahah! that’s just a gem.

  2. omg – don’t ever eat the soup!

  3. Maliha: I’m sure it’s true. The next thing in the recycling step is for them to start serving Soylent Green for lunch

    Sandra: or one day, the soup will eat you

  4. danbdow

    I recycle my paper/cardboard and that’s all. However I have regrettably used some of the recycled products. One of which was recycled toilet paper. The recycled toilet paper feels like a combination of two things. 1.Sandpaper and 2. A Cheese Grater. Your arse knows when you have strayed from the normal soft velvety toilet paper. The only thing I learned from the whole experience was if somebody who I dislike pays me a visit and has to use the toilet, I will switch my regular toilet paper for the recycled toilet paper and laugh as they crawl down the stairs clutching their arse.

  5. Yeah, some of the recycled stuff is a bit brutal. There is a huge variance in softness I have noticed and even the good ones aren’t as soft as the really soft paper.

  6. j

    The office of a large utility (who are probably still excited ) I worked for in Melbourne for 3 years had the same posters up around the place – blame the state government! I wonder when they’re going to start serving the aforementioned recycled food in the Parliament dining room …

  7. J: yeah, state government here too, you’re right.

  8. I wouldn’t surprised about you eating something somebody threw out. Don’t eat anything called the Chef’s Choice or Special or anything like that.

  9. Have you ever had “fridge soup”? It’s what you make when you don’t have components for a real meal. You just put everything in the fridge into a pot and make soup.

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