Some examples of this are:
- Hreint throws everything in the garbage. Everything is disposable and we used a lot of cleaners that were just poured down the sink. They also made no incentive to the companies that they cleaned for to start some recycling.
- Innes/Selecta are the worst offenders I have ever seen. Everyday, Innes throws out several huge black garbage bags worth of paper. Even the shredded paper goes straight to the garbage. When someone cleaned out an office, it all went in the garbage, papers, books, computers and all. All the promotional food they received would go to the garbage, rather then a food bank or Red Cross. I asked a few people why they could not have, at the very least, a recycling bin for the paper, I was told that costs extra. A company so rich it throws out the Christmas decorations every year, only to replace them the next year, thinks a recycling bin is too expensive.
- Hótel Reykjavík refused to recycle the empty milk containers. This bothered me because we used so many everyday. Noting else was recycled either.
- Humpty's, in Canada, throws out plastic 4 liter cartoons of milk everyday. Dozens of them. Bags of paper go straight to the trash.
If these businesses can not recycle, what will make the average person? Any business could make a huge difference. A lot of people think, what difference could I make? If my employer does not even try, why should I?
If Iceland does not start changing its ways it will not be a 'Beautiful place of on touched nature' for long.
But there is good new:
My new employers at Hótel Smári set the standard on how things should be done. I am amazed on the measures taken here to keep the waste down and reduce unnecessary consumption.
- All milk and juice cartoons are cleaned, flattened and recycled.
- All bottles are collected for recycling.
- All paper is collected for recycling.
- Garbage bags are not to be emptied until completely full to reduce plastic garbage.
- Leftovers from breakfast is kept in reusable plastic containers with lids.
- All laundry is washed in energy efficient washing machines, then is hung to dry. This is really amazing for a hotel, you should see our drying room. This also increases the life span on the sheets and towels.
I am really impressed and it has lead me to become more active with my own recycling.
Now we have a special plastic box under the sink to keep the paper and milk cartoons, then once or twice a week I put it all in bags, along with the extra newspapers from the building, and walk to the recycling bins. It is not so bad if I go more often, then it does not get so overwhelming or take up space that we just do not have in the apartment.