If there’s a recycle can next to the garbage can, please use the recycle can

I'm a little obsessive with recycling, check out the sticky notes I just put on the 14th floor @tribunetower garbage can

On the 14th floor of the Tribune Tower there is a gray garbage can in the kitchen area. We throw away so much stuff in the kitchen that can be recycled. To help solve this, a few weeks ago I put a blue recycle bin next to the garbage can.

But nobody uses the recycle bin. It rather baffles me. Today I found a clean paper bag and paper wrappers in the garbage. Normally I will quietly garbage pick the paper and put it into recycling. But the quantity of the paper in the garbage today unsettled me. As i took the paper out I audibly said, “what is this paper doing in the garbage? It can be recycled,” hoping that the perpetrators heard me.

Knowing just saying something out loud probably won’t do much, I put a couple sticky notes on the garbage cans directing people to the blue recycle bin. Then to be even more specific, the sticky notes listed what little things can be recycled.

here’s what the notes said:


use the blue bin


tea wrappers,

papers, cardboard,

bags, sugar packets

every little bit helps 🙂


I purposely made the list in all lower case to make it more friendly. I know I’m being passive-aggressive with this. But c’mon people, at least put your paper in the recycle bin that sits right next to the garbage can. Every little bit truly does help.

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12 years ago

too bad the recycle can can’t be as tall as the garbage can. It looks like the forgotten child next to the giant garbage can.

Tom Saaristo
12 years ago

Sometimes I really miss working in the Tower with you, but first the stinky lunches in the microwave and now THIS!? We have a big square box with holes in the top next to the trash can that is for recycling bottles (glass and plastic) and cans … and EVERYONE participates by doing their part.

11 years ago

Are you sure it’s not a grey garbage can?

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