The co-living space I’m currently staying at is trying so hard to be sustainable that they don’t have a trash bin.
The disposal categories they offer are Organic Waste, Plastic, and Paper.
At first glance, this might seem like a great strategy to force everyone to recycle. After all, if there’s no trash option, people will be forced to find a way, right?
Suddenly, anything that doesn’t fall into those three categories has nowhere to go. Unrecyclable byproducts like glass, greasy cardboard, aluminum, takeaway coffee cups, juice boxes, styrofoam packaging (the list goes on!) get haphazardly placed into the closest-available category.
The result is that not only are people frustrated and confused when trying to do the right thing; all three categories end up so contaminated that they might as well all be trash.
Poorly designed solutions built on wishful thinking don’t solve problems. In fact, they might even make things worse.