Signs of the Games: Potty Talk
Honestly, I did about a quintuple take the first time I closed one of the stalls inside a media center bathroom. I wasn't sure I understood what I was being asked to do therein. I'm still not sure I do.
But--and not to get too graphic--a quick glance inside the dustbin seemed to indicate that we media members were being asked to do something with our, shall I say, "soiled" toilet paper that one normally does not do with said product in America.
What I really should have done was stond vigil outside the bathrooms--along with the relentlessly friendly bathroom attendants, whose sole job is to say hello as you enter their domain--and gotten insta-react from Bob Ryan, Art Thiel, Adrian Wojnarowski, Pat Forde, Jim Capel, Thomas Boswell, Rick Maese and all the other male print media celebrities I've seen in the past few days. (I haven't asked any female co-workers about the inside of their stalls, and I probably won't.)
Instead, I took a photo of the sign and began walking out of the bathroom, where I saw this curious sight. One of these bins pictured below, I should tell you, is clearly marked "Recyclable." Its companion is marked "Other Waste." Kinda hard to tell them apart, right? These dual bins are in every bathroom, and in every one the scene is the same: they are impossible to distinguish. Go ahead and guess which is which, and find the answer after the jump.
[UPDATE: Sorry for the confusion, this last part was meant to point out that there's no real recycling. But these aren't toilet paper bins, these are paper towel bins. The toilet paper bins might be nasty, but they're not labeled recyclables, and I didn't take any photos.]
(Though honestly, the best media center bathroom sight I've seen thus far involved a man washing his feet in the sink. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, so instead I just stared. America is likely not a gold-medal favorite in foot cleanliness.)
Also, after our group lunch on Sunday, we were virtually ordered to dump our dirty plates and leftover food into the "Recyclable" bucket in the dining area. One person tried to walk over to the "Other Waste" bin, and was guided back toward "Recyclable."
"Poor Recycling Habits" is probably pretty far down on the list of things to protest over this month, but it seems pretty clear to me that not one plastic Olympic bottle will be recycled in Beijing.
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