At Google, Recycling is In, Individual Trashcans Are Out


What’s in the trashcan beneath your desk? I’ve got an apple core, a used tea bag, and the envelope in which someone mailed me a book. Oops. That last one is recyclable. (Ok, so I could compost the apple core and tea, but we don’t compost at work…yet. I’m pretty sure Susan’s going to start stashing her little worm friends under the kitchen sink any day now. Which I’m all for. Unless they escape. In which case I don’t know anything about them.) If you were to ask an employee at Google’s London office that question, she wouldn’t have to look before answering. That’s because the company has removed under-desk trash bins in an effort to up the recycling at the office.

It’s working: Recycling rates have jumped 50 percent. “It makes people aware of what they’re doing,” Benjamin Kott, Google’s operations manager for green business practices in Europe, told Green Inc.'s Jeffrey Marlow. “Rather than automatically throwing a bottle in with the landfill waste, they see there’s a choice and must make a conscious decision to recycle.”

Who knows, maybe forcing people to walk to a central location to chuck their garbage and recyclables might cut down on waste overall. At the very least, this is one idea worth recycling.

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