Unhelpful instructions

By Marcus Wilson 26/01/2011

I’ve been spending some time over the last few days clearing out six years of accumulated junk from our garage. One of the latest discoveries was an empty paint tin, left over from when we attacked the bathroom about three years ago. I like to think that I am moderately conscious of what I do to the environment, so I looked on the tin for instructions on how to get rid of it properly.  In amongst the various warnings on what to do if you accidently drink the contents or paint your eyes with the stuff (one assumes you are meant to read the instructions BEFORE you get it in your eyes) there was the friendly command "Dispose of the empty can safely".  I quite agree, but I was looking for something a little more specific. Just what does ‘safely’ entail?

To be fair, if they do include instructions on what to do with left-over paint ("Consult [company name] for advice on disposal of paint products", or words to that effect), but I don’t have the paint, I just have the empty can and some residue.

The same thing applies to batteries and fluorescent light bulbs, which kindly tell you that they have to be disposed of properly but neglect to tell you what the proper manner is.  Grrrrr

0 Responses to “Unhelpful instructions”

  • I asked Wellington City Council how to dispose of batteries, once.

    Their answer: Chuck it in the bin; the landfill will cope.

  • I have a vague memory of someone telling me that NZ doesn’t have any facilities for the safe disposal of CFLs. (I might be mistaken here). And yet certain politicians bleat on about making them the only type of light you are allowed to buy. My dead ones are all still stacked up in the garage.