Environmental Protection Agency

EPA: Let's practice what we preach

At EPA, trash cans at every workstation are emptied every day. The problem is that no matter how much or how little trash the can contains, the practice is to pull out the over-sized plastic bag lining the can and replace it. I've been observing this practice for some time and noticed that, as often as not, the plastic bag lining the can represents a larger proportion of the waste than the trash it contains. I suggest that for typical office workers, EPA convert to a once a week desk-to-desk trash collection schedule and stop throwing out thousands and thousands of nearly empty plastic trash can liners everyday. If employees have wet trash at their desk, they should be responsible for carrying it to the appropriate receptacle available in the pantry on every floor. EPA should find a way to reduce this unnecessary production of waste -- it will help the environment and reduce Agency costs (i.e., the cost of the bags, labor for daily desk-to-desk collection, and disposal costs).

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Idea No. 11019