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Hospital infuriates social media with its deceptive waste management method: 'I'm sure they are never cleaned'

"Every waste can in this entire major city's hospital is a lie … "

Hospital recycling

Photo Credit: u/thefreakychild / Reddit

A Reddit post with more than 10,000 upvotes left people both disgusted and indignant. In it, the user holds their hand under a trash can lid that supposedly separates recycling from regular waste in order to show that it's all just one big pile of trash. 

Above the picture, the user states "Every waste can in this entire major city's hospital is a lie … " 

Aside from being disgusted by the fact that the user stuck their hand in a trash can, people were understandably upset to learn that this hospital recycling effort was fake. 

Sustainable healthcare organization Practice Greenhealth estimates that hospitals produce 5 million tons of waste every single year, which is more than 29 pounds of waste per bed per day.

The practice displayed in the viral Reddit post leads people to think they're recycling when they're actually not. Tons of big corporations have been accused of this type of behavior, which is referred to as greenwashing, or the practice of making false claims about an allegedly environmentally friendly behavior — like saying you recycle when you don't. 

It's been reported recently that only about 32% of waste is actually recycled, and of that, only about 5% of plastic is recycled. So as important as recycling still is, we still need to find ways to reduce our waste and move away from single-use plastics, even in hospitals. 

Practice Greenhealth lists strategies like more efficient sorting, robust recycling, and single-use device reprocessing as just a few of the ways hospitals can reduce their own impact. 

As an individual, instead of tossing cans, bottles, and other recyclable items into public trash cans that may falsely advertise recycling, hang on to them until you get home, where you can properly recycle them. 

In the comments section of the post, Redditors had a lot to say about the deceptive trash can. 

"So all the time I've been contemplating which slot my stuff goes in has been a lie?" one user asked

"Yeah we see it at other places too. Sad all this push for recycle and than this picture" responded another.

"The other two R's, reduce and reuse, are FAR more important," said a third.

"Those are pretty common all over the country," noted a fourth, adding, "But, seriously, you shouldn't touch that. I'm sure they are never cleaned."

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