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The Guerrilla Recycler

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my boss insisting on using paper cups in the student cafe, rather than china cups. I had a problem with this because Starbucks coffee is probably our biggest seller and all the cups are thrown out after just one fleeting use – resulting in heaps of trash that I have to lug out to the dustbins after every shift.

My boss wasn’t too receptive to my suggestion of real cups (“Too much washing up, Tegan!”) but I recently discovered that there are actually recycling bins at the back of the cafe for plastic bottles and cans, which are barely used. I didn’t know about them at first because my boss and all the other staff don’t use them, but I’m not surprised they’re there as the university as a whole has a fairly thorough recycling program. Anyway now while I’m clearing tables I get excited when I see discarded juice bottles and cola cans and swoop down on them before the other waitresses can throw them in the bin.

Despite this rather over-zealous approach, I have a slight suspicion these recycling bins aren’t actually emptied. Ever since I started using them I’ve seen all the bottles and cans I’ve put in there piling up, without others being added or the lot being taken away…

I guess if I fill them up before anything happens I can always ask the caretaker. They’re probably just not aware they’re being used. I have told my co-workers about them and urged them to use them but I can’t say I’ve seen any evidence of this so far.

The best bit is the label on top that reads “We ARE recycling! so should you!”. Mmm, of course you are, Mr Paper Cup and Apathy Man. I assume the sign was sellotaped there before he took over management.

There is also a large mixed recycling bin out the back near the smoking area, and I now run out there with armfuls of cardboard and glass bottles, although I’m sure my boss would scold me for ”wasting time” when we’re busy.  Sigh. Anyway, even if it’s a small victory it does make me smile every time I get to do some of this guerrilla recycling!

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4 thoughts on “The Guerrilla Recycler

  1. Tegan, if no one was using the bins behind your business then it could be that they aren’t picking up any more thinking no one uses them. If you could find out who the company is and make a phone call you could get them to start picking them up on their rounds. I’m impressed by how diligent you are even with your boss’s disapproval, good for you!

  2. Pingback: Yay Yay Recycling Win | Earth Baby

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