Via Star Tribune:
Talk turned to trash at the Hennepin County Government Center this week when surprised employees discovered their standard-size garbage cans replaced by tiny new ones.
“I wasn’t sure whether it was a toy or a marketing tool,” said Mark Thompson, Hennepin County District Court administrator, of the diminutive cans, which appeared in offices and courtrooms Monday morning.
The recycled-plastic, quart-size containers are neither. Designed to encourage less trash-making and more recycling, they limit what employees can toss before they have to dump the collection into a bigger can down the hall. On the side of each can is written, “This is all the GARBAGE I make!”
The sudden and extreme transition in the busy downtown Minneapolis workplace has not come without complaint or ridicule.
Despite the jokes, the change was made with earnest good intentions. The entire county has now switched to one-sort recycling — papers, cans and bottles all go into the same container. Cartons, yogurt and beverage cups and deli containers can also be recycled. The aim is to reduce county trash by 20 percent. Even before the switch to the little trash cans, county workers recycled 1,000 tons last year.
The county’s environmental and property services departments delivered the cans to the offices of 3,000 mostly unwitting workers in the Hennepin County Government Center last weekend. An official rally heralding their arrival and making a pitch for their proper use came Thursday.