Wednesday, May 30, 2007

WMATA recycles newspaper? think again

i'm sure most DCers are like me, when they carry their paper off the metro they go through the trouble of stuffing it in the tiny slit of the "newspapers only" bin at the entrance of every station. sometimes, the things are full to the gills, but still, you stuff it in there, doing your bit for the planet. it's bad enough i'm the recycling police at my building, pulling glossy carboard apart from the rest, taking plastic lids off bottles, but WMATA, our fair city's metro? the symbol of efficient public transit and carbon emission reducing whathaveyou?

for the second time in a year, waiting around a metro station i saw the unthinkable. you see the first time, i thought it was an error, but the second time, well, i wish i had my camera. there went the garbage guy, doing his business and emptying the trash cans of their diverse refuse when he proceeded to the paper bins and threw them in the same bin on wheels. mixing the papers we painstakingly presumably recycle, in with the trash.

hmmmm. so why go through the trouble of having people stuff their news in there? i've had my watch caught on the thin opening, and have even lost a ring...and it all ends up in the regular trash?
well F U metro. if that's how you are, you want to lie to people, take us for a ride (metaphorically) well then maybe i'll just leave my newspaper on the seat, maybe i'll spread it on the floor - just to spite you. at least it will get read once, before you decide to put it where it belongs.

because i will no longer be a party to your evil un-earthly deeds!

and now, everyone knows your dirty little secret.


an orange county girl said...

wow, i have nearly been trampled on by my fellow rush hour commuters trying to get to a newspaper bin. guess i won't be doing that any more.

thanks for letting us know, though. makes me sad that WMATA can't take the extra step to recycle. also, it seems pointless for them to even have those bins for newspapers.

Janet Kincaid said...

WMATA is only part of the problem. The larger problem is the D.C. government and its marginal recycling programs. Couple that with Waste Management not encouraging commercial recycling and the gazillion "waste" and "recycling" haulers that are allowed to do business in this city and it's a miracle ANY kind of recycling happens DC--let along Metro--at all.

I work in an office building that only does paper recycling, which means cans and bottles go straight into the trash. I end up carrying mine home, because I can't bring myself to throw them in the garbage. In this day and age, and in this city especially, not recycling is a blatant, arrogant blight and a shame.

lefty said...

my apartment building only pays for one truck to come by, and they mix everything, so i can't even recycle at home. i put stuff in other people's bins and they get mad at me! on the other hand, my office building is going to be LEED certified this year. we are ultra-mega-green. composting and everything. our plants are so lovely! and we probably have half the utility costs of the hotel next door because our lights are on motion sensors, the AC doesn't go below 72's not a hassle to be green, and shouldn't actually saves money!

The Green Miles said...

I would love to hear Metro's response to this. Lefty, have you called them?

Don't Be Silent DC said...

The same thing happens at my job...we have recycling bins, but the stuff gets dumped in the trash by the cleaning staff as well.

What is going on here? Don't tell me the stuff I've been putting out for recycling at home's been going to the dump too!

lefty said...

i sent an email via their comments form. last time i complained about the angry station manager at Columbia Heights, they were pretty receptive and called me a few days later. I also never saw her again...speaking of columbia heights metro, some rat stole my boyfriend's bike. dang cut the lock. on his birthday! $%&@

Lara Ziobro said...

Oh my... So glad I read this. That really burns me up, since like you I go out of my way to hit those recycling bins when I come off the Metro. I'll start dragging them into work then to make sure they're really recycled. Argh!

Anonymous said...

Lefty, Interesting post. It encouraged me to search around to see if I could learn more. Unfortunately after 10 mins on WMATA I couldn't find anything on recycling. However, I did find this link: that talks about the success of the program. What might be going on is lazy workers for WMATA who just aren't sorting the bins properly. I look forward to hearing more about your response from WMATA.