FedEx Kinkos: Definitely NOT Green

maple-trees-12_3I heard a story today that made me ask, “Why not just cut down trees and throw them directly into the dumpster?!”

My darling wife-to-be called me this afternoon very frustrated and honestly, quite livid.

As she was walking into a FedEx Kinko’s, which as we all know promotes itself as being green, two employees were walking out to the dumpster, holding three large paper-filled trash bags.

Curious, she asked them, “Are you recycling that paper?” They responded, “We always just throw it away.” Margaret immediately called me expressing her great displeasure at FedEx Kinko’s.

This prompted me to remember a time when Kinko’s (prior to being acquired by FedEx) was committed to, and used almost exclusively, recycled paper. By doing so, Kinko’s created a market and stimulated economic viability for the recovery and successful recycling of paper that was placed in collection bins. What happened to that environmental stewardship
once so prominent an aspect of the Kinko’s name?

It may be that there is no viable market for collected, recyclable paper. I think it is imperative that we all remember, unless we consciously purchase and use paper made of post consumer recycled material, all that recycling is for naught. Successful recycling will only happen when there is economic demand for the “landfill-destined” materials.

So, if we’re not willing to purchase and use paper made of post consumer recycled fibers (old paper), we might as well be just cutting down trees and throwing them right into the trash.


4 thoughts on “FedEx Kinkos: Definitely NOT Green

  1. I work at a Kinko’s, and I know for a fact that we do NOT recycle ANYTHING. Every bin around the store, whether blue or gray, gets emptied into the same dumpster at the end of the night. I have worked at over 7 different stores throughout my college years, all located in various parts of greater California. Every store is the same. It’s quite sickening actually, I’m thinking of calling corporate and threatening them with bad press if they don’t do something about it. I’d say about 95% of our trash is recyclable paper. The store I work at now is the slowest and smallest store I’ve worked at to date, and we dispose of about 85-100 gallons of paper trash every night.

    • Rob, thanks for your comment. It’s a shame that some feel this is acceptable. While there is a lot of emphasis on the consumer level to recycle, the real burden should fall on companies. I can’t even imagine how much recyclable materials our nation goes through on the corporate side, and how much of that sum isn’t properly recycled!

      I wonder what you can do from within such a large company to incite change? It may only be on a store-by-store level, but I can guarantee the positive PR generated by recycling will get the attention of the higher-ups.

      More green power to you!

  2. I too work at FedEx Office and unfortunately I’ve noticed that a lot of what goes on from center to center is a matter of who cares and who doesn’t. At my location, we do everything by the book, no exceptions. We have a very large recycling bin in the center that is under lock and key for confidential documents that are sent to a shredding facility once a week. Outside we have 2 dumpsters, one for trash and one for recyclables. The recycle bin accepts any kind of recyclable material, not just paper. We carefully seperate our trash before taking it out to ensure the correct items go in the correct bins. My boss expects no less.
    At the “lazy stores”, the boss could care less where the paper goes. FedEx Office has given us the means to help the enviornment but its pricks who could give two *&$% that ruin it.
    For the above poster, instead of “threatening corperate” why don’t you start by setting an example? I myself headed a waste management project and while it sounds dumb and took months to catch on, we now are much more aware of what we waste and have cut waste costs.

    Hopefully your wife can sleep better Rob. Some of us do care.

    • Stacy, it is great to know that some stores – and the people who work in them – are doing their part! Caring for the environment comes down to each individual, not only recycling, but buying recycled.

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