Human Nature and recycling

or the eternal quest for the path of least resistance

I was depositing this month’s recycling at the veritable maze of containers and skips in the corner of the supermarket carpark and I came upon a scene that I thought illustrated human nature at its finest.

Imagine, if you will, one of the large containers that holds squashed metal cans and tins, with a number of inconveniently places holes located around its edges. This container was in the corner of the recycling area with one of its corners, and therefore holes, clearly closest to the car park.

Being a Saturday lunchtime, it was quite busy and there were a good dozen or so cars filing their recycling, and some of the receptacles were more popular than others. At this corner of the tin container was a queue of about 4 or 5 people, with another two people showing every sign of joining it.

My car said the air temperature was -1 and many of the people dutifully doing their bit for the environment and scrap metal merchants had children doing their best to cause a minor riot, so you could believe that given the choice they would rather not be queuing.

The person at the head of the queue was encountering some difficulty posting their cans through the hole, the mound of metal inside the container had built up to the same level as the hole so you had to push another tin out of the way to get yours inside. A time consuming process and one that led to more than one tin bouncing out and landing on a foot.

Imagine the evil glares I received when I merrily walked past the queue, round the back corner to make use of the hole farthest from the car park, which of course was completly empty and uncongested. I reckon it cost me at least an extra 6 seconds and I got rid of my boxes of tins in double quick time.

As I was just setting off to drive home, I noticed another person join the queue. Oh dear.

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