Like me, you have probably worked in an office where you dutifully separated out your paper for recycling only to see a custodian later throw everything into one garbage bin. That’s what happens even in our building, owned by Vornado, one of the greenest commercial owners in the industry.
Don’t worry, this is supposed to happen. In office buildings, almost everything you throw out is paper and waste haulers don’t mind pulling out the rest of your non-recyclable trash. That is, unless that trash is wet food waste. Water and food kill paper. So, the goal of recycling programs in New York offices is to keep them away from regular dry waste.
An effective office recycling program will encourage tenants to dispose all their wet, food waste in kitchen bins rather than at their desk. By using transparent trash bags, everything can be thrown in together, with the wet waste easily identified and pulled out at the recycling plant.
So if you are one of the legion of New Yorkers who eat lunch at your desk, when you are done please use that kitchen trash bin!