Train newspaper recycling

01 Apr 2008

I recently took a job back at Caplin Systems in London and as a result have started commuting into the city every day by train. Once you've done the same journey a few times there's little new to see when looking out of the window so most people listen to music, read a book or read a newspaper. A newspaper doesn't generally take all that long to read - or generally only contains a few interesting articles - so people tend to leave their papers on the train when they alight. London has a plethora of free papers (Metro, London Lite and The London Paper) so people think nothing of leaving a free paper behind.

"National Express have teamed up with Metro Newspapers" blah, blah, blah. This is a new message that is announced at most stops to encourage passangers to take their papers with them and keep the train tidy. Never mind recycling. In all fairness the London station I get off at does have a "Newspaper recycling team" that are occasionally seen making their way through the trains to collect the discarded papers. The train station must have hundreds of trains through it a day and there is no way that this team will have time to collect all papers for recycling.

My solution to this problem would be to place newspaper bins or containers on each stations and encourange passangers to simply take their paper off the train with them and pop them in the newspaper bin on the platform. This is easier than having to take the paper to work or home with you and then recycling it. This would be a good idea for two reasons:

1) Most papers will end up in these paper containers and recycling teams can just collect from there at a given point in the day.

2) If you want a paper to read on the train you know exactly where you can get one from at each station.

I'm surprised that this isn't in place as I think that the green and useful sides of this idea make it a winner. Maybe there's something that I've not considered?