Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rants on UBC

I am confused by the recycling policy in Vancouver. They have big nice blue bins everywhere, orderly categorized into papers, plastics, newpaper, to promote the culture of recycling. That's very nice. Fantastic efforts, I concur.

But why are there paper towel dispensers in so many toilets in UBC???? Take a walk down to 1st level, Kroener Library, and you'll see the paper towel overflowing onto the floor everyday in hazardous piles. Ok, I can't remember specifically where else this happens (I only mug in Kroener Lib.), but it is common enough for me to take notice...

People generally take them for free (hmm... Singaporeanish?) and press the lever for the paper towel to be dispensed consecutively at least 3 times, before pulling the long strip off the dispenser (without saying thank-you to the poor inanimate dispenser. Haiz.) and after carelessly wiping their hands on the paper towel, aimlessly throw them at the gigantic bin (specially designed to be big so even a one-eyed pirate/parrot won't miss) and miss.

I say the very existence of the dispensers is a source of pollution and excessive wastage. One very important use of clothes, other than to be worn, is for you to wipe your hands. At least that's what my mother told me. (Probably not, but that's not the point...) Saves on paper, saves on washing. You wash your clothes, don't you? That's 2 birds with one stone. Wipe N times and it'll be (N + 1) birds.

Anyway, your hands are supposed to be clean after washing, right? (If I'm not, perhaps you can tell me the exact definition of 'washing your hands' in the comments box down here and we can have a debate on it. Lawyers prohibited.) So what's so dirty about wiping your sparkling clean hands on your shirt/pants/whatever?? The environmental savings far justifies the action.

Perhaps the dispensers were placed in good faith that the student population will use them wisely, but time has definitely made the student population take it for granted.

Perhaps it's time for the school to step in and install coin-operated (25cents per piece?) paper towel dispenser that the really needy ones (i.e. when toilet runs out of toilet paper) can use. But then again, business will really be bad and the paper towel may expire and decompose with crawlie maggots all over before actualizing their potential as paper towel. Also, the needy one may also not have a quarter to spare.

Dispose of the paper towel dispenser and dig a hole into the wall (with a needle inside) for emergency use.

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