Every week, I put out the recycle bin on the street. Plastics, cans, card board, paper, all go into this bright blue bin and get picked up by the garbage disposal truck.
But my recycling bin keeps running away. Sometimes it attempts suicide by sitting in the middle of the road in the face of traffic, sometimes it tries to get around the corner when I am not watching. Sometimes, it upends itself and walks away, leaving all the cans on the ground. In short, it has tried every trick to get out of the job and to let me know exactly what it thinks of my trash.
I am not a bad boss, so I did spend some time wondering how I could increase the bin’s job satisfaction. I rinsed every empty milk jug and can in hot water, to improve the bin’s job content. I was also careful not to overload the bin. Yet the bin kept running away.
The bin was almost successful in suicide. It got under the wheels of a truck and nearly split into two. I treated it as best as I could, taping it up with clear tape and using it. But perhaps getting back to work so soon annoyed the bin even more, for it was missing out on disability leave. In any case, the bin wasn’t doing much work after the injury – it kept having nervous breakdowns.
With regret, I knew it was time to let the bin go. I drove down to the city center last week to get a replacement bin.
“My recycling bin ran away and broke,” I told the employee in Engineering. (Why does “Engineering” handle recycling bins?)
“Yeah, it’s just too windy these days, isn’t it?” she said as she handed me a new bin.
I don’t believe it, I thought, she is just making excuses for the bins. Her cubicle companions leered at me, all nine of them, sitting in their blue suits against the wall. I wondered what it would be like to spend 8 hours each day in the company of such suicidal maniacs. Do they talk to her?
Which reminded me, I needed my revenge.
“Can I have one more bin ?” I asked her sweetly.
“Sure”, she said as she handed me one of the blue suits. She seemed almost glad to get rid of them.
Now I have two more bins I can torment.
“What should I do with the broken bin?” I asked her. “Can I recycle that?”
She looked sideways at the blue bins stacked beside her. Did one of them just move towards her?
“No,” she said firmly, “you should not. Put it in the trash.”
I left, wondering. Why can’t I recycle recycling bins?
Does she know something I don’t ?