Kinda petty office rant

Lately, my workplace insituted a policy on payday to recycle the envelopes on payday. One of our granola crunchers goes around with an office mailer to collect them all. I can’t really see that this glurge actually accomplishes anything.

It’s barely a drop in the ocean of recycling efforts. I used to work in the printing industry. I know what little percentage recycled paper is of post consumer waste, and I’m sure that pay envelopes is at best a microscopic presence. Yet, if I don’t give it up, I get frowns from the PC police. :rolleyes:

It just smacks of the same sort of “feel goodism” that motivates people to collect pull tabs. (Yes, we have jars of them at work too) As Cecil once explained, it all gets dumped in with the rest of the aluminum at the recycling plant. I have this feeling there’s a chute labelled “pay envelopes” that leads directly to the bigass pile of old newspapers, TV guides and junk mail ads.

So does anybody else have this policy at their workplace, and do you think it actually does any good?

We have a recycle bin next to all the printers and photocopiers in the office. I always dutifully placed my reject printouts and copies in the appointed receptacle. Imagine my disappointment, one day as I stayed late to finish a project, at seeing the cleaning staff empty the recycle bins into the same dumpster as the kitchen trash can. To this day, most of my co-workers are blissfully unaware that their efforts are in vain.

I have to agree Knowed Out that this policy seems a little bizarre. Are you supposed to just stick your paycheck right into your purse or wallet? What if you want to take it home in the envelope? Don’t they have that little plastic window in them, that interferes with the recycling anyway? Do they regularly make an effort to reduce paper consumption in other ways?

And they wouldn’t want to consider anything revolutionary like direct deposit.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a paycheck.

I do direct deposit too, and yet I still get a paper “advice” every two weeks, which is exactly like a paycheck only with a zero amount.

We have paper recycling boxes in all cubicles and by the copier. The do get emptied separately from the trash, so I’m assuming they go to the base recycling center. We used to have aluminum can barrels but someone decided that having them on the porches gave terrorists a place to put bombs, :rolleyes: so no more can recycling unless you take them home. I take my stuff home in my lunch cooler, but most cans end up in the trash.

And we have direct deposit, so no pay envelopes. FWIW, at home, I’ve been known to use old envelopes to do quick-n-dirty computations.

Well, all those “drops in the ocean” do add up…but sending someone around to collect the envelopes seems kind of weird, not to mention inefficient.

I’ll echo Enigma42’s question–do they reduce/re-use/recycle in other ways?

As far as the efficacy of paper recycling, I don’t think that it is fair to say that it doesn’t work just because the printing industry doesn’t use a lot of post-consumer waste. That may not be the most appropriate use for recycled papers. (Hell, I’m a big-ol’ tree-hugger myself, and I don’t use recycled paper in my home computer printer.) But if we continue to put our unwanted paper into the recycling stream, industry will find a use for it. If there is a cheap raw material available, someone will find a way to make a profit on it eventually.

That said, I think it’s important to note that the recycling slogan goes in this order:

  1. Reduce
  2. Re-use
  3. Recycle
    It goes in this order because reducing (using less in the first place) will have the least negative environmental impacts. Re-using is good too. Recycling is the least desirable of the three options, because it takes a lot of resources to recycle materials. But any of these three options are generally better than landfilling.

[steps off soapbox, made of plantation-grown wood]

Enigma42, we do have recycle bins by all the printers and copy machines. Bins for aluminiminum cans too. The envelopes do have windows. Moreover, you still get an envelope (with dummy check) even if you already have direct deposit. Hey, I don’t mind, it helps me with record keeping.

It just occurred to me that maybe they actually REUSE the envelopes. They put all the future paychecks in them. OK, that makes sense. It’s just that “recycle” is such a buzz word, it sounds cool to use it for all “re” words that have something to do with environmental impact.

Oh well, I told you this rant was petty. :smiley: