Ok, so about 4 people will appreciate the reference in this post. My office is “LEED” Certified, meaning it's met certain enviromentally responsible standards.
There are signs like this posted all over the walls:
You can see evidence of this
When I first started, I didn’t have a trash can in my cubicle. Someone explained to me that nobody had trash cans. Um, why? Because it was part of being “green.” I didn’t understand. Was this wishful-thinking legislation (if we outlaw guns, there will be no gun crime!)? If we don’t have trash cans, people will produce less trash? I was confused. But they did this so that they would not have to have a night-time cleaning service collecting trash from everyone’s cubicles, eliminating the need to keep the lights and air on at night. A cost savings too.
So what we were supposed to do with trash? We were supposed to take it to a nearby trash receptacle. Except they weren't really that “nearby” and who wants to walk to the trash can every time they have to throw something out? So inevitably everyone uses their personal recycling container (which we were allowed to keep) to collect trash. So forget recycling – we are too busy fiddling with emptying our own trash bins.
A “green” plan that resulted in people giving up on recycling. Of course. Also known as the law of unintended consequences.
At the end of the day, you’d see pissed off executives trying to stuff their trash in the tiny little trash receptacles. Of course, not everyone would empty their trash every day, resulting in day(s)-old food-wrapper/leftover smells floating around some of the cubicles.
No night-time cleaning crew means the cleaning crew cleans during the day. I never really figured out the etiquette of what you are supposed to do when someone started vacuuming inside your cubicle and around your feet while you were working – and on a conference call, of course. Are you supposed to stand up? Move?
Thankfully, after a few months, they gave us our trash cans back and no longer vacuum in our cubicles in the middle of the day. There are some non-disposable cups in the breakroom and a dishwasher, which I’m all in favor of (reducing unnecessary waste and cost). But I always get a kick out of the fact that for every bright idea, the law of unintended consequences is always at work… breeding chaos, destabilizing the status quo, undermining ordered civilization, and along the way, providing bouts of insanity.