It’s quite a statement when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the coordinator and cleaner-upper of waste, among other things, has to warn employees to please stop emptying their bowels in the hallway of a regional office.
Seems EPA management for Region 8 (Mountain and Plains), home of the Brownfields program in Denver, sent an e-mail (which to date has not been lost) beseeching an unknown pooper in their midst to cease and desist defecating in the corridor.
To deal with the problem, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor sent a memo informing the mystery offender that “Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute [the] individuals” defiling Region 8 offices. Cantor’s memo also mentioned “several incidents,” one of which included clogging the EPA toilets with, of all things, tree-killing paper towels.
After being contacted about the problem, workplace violence “national expert” John Nicoletti, said hallway feces is a health and safety risk, the conduct was “very dangerous” and the guilty persons would “probably escalate” their activities.
Nonetheless, above all, Region 8 is concerned about Environmental Justice, which means “ensuring that the environment and human health are fairly protected for all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income,” and, hopefully, also includes whoever is befouling the hallway.
Secret pooper or no secret pooper, what we do know is that the “EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the natural environment.” With 17,000 employees, one of whom clearly has poor toilet etiquette, in order to green the EPA, individual regional offices must “follow best practices to implement their waste diversion programs and work toward achieving their waste diversion goals.”
Still, if the “poop bandit” cannot be identified and stopped, all is not lost because some of the EPA Waste Diversion objectives may help Mr. Cantor handle the furtive hallway deposits in an environmentally friendly way.
Take composting, for example. Since composting is an “effective way of significantly reducing the volume of waste being sent for disposal,” maybe Region 8 should plant an organic vegetable garden out back.
There is also paper use reduction, which could be accomplished by leaving a friendly reminder in the hallway encouraging the Poop Perpetrator to adhere to the Sheryl Crow one-sheet rule.
To reuse means “passing on unwanted items to others that can use them or find a new use,” which, quite frankly, if we’re referring to fecal matter, is a scary thought.
EPA waste diversion also includes source reduction, which “prevent[s] waste from even being created.”
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but “prevent[ing] waste from even being created” may require Mr. Cantor to ban the consumption of any and all foodstuffs on Region 8 premises, including employee-friendly Dunkin Donuts.
If composting, paper-use reduction, reuse, and source reduction fail, there’s always the option to expand recycling options to “include other materials” – emphasis on “other” – as in closing the poop, er… I mean loop, and education and outreach.
Either way, whether EPA Waster Diversion Objectives are applied or not, thank God there are regular “Clean-up Days,” where “…the Region 8 Office in Denver has routine office–wide cleanup campaigns…for employees to recycle a variety of materials” including “unwanted personal and household items” which, based on a series of recent repulsive occurrences, should now include wayward excreta.
Regardless of how the EPA decides to divert waste, what’s disturbing is that the EPA is a branch of the same federal government – with its missing emails, dead veterans, and inappropriately discarded human dung – that is also be overseeing Obamacare.
Jeannie also hosts a blog at www.jeannie-ology.com
Image: Courtesy of: http://holyokewikifall2011.wikispaces.com/Bella+Duncan