The Dingbat: Day 476 of the new 2046 Sustainable Waste Management Initiative

Today, they almost got me. Ike’s had given me my bolognese in a plastic container — prime recycling material. At the last moment, just before I placed it in the grey recycling slot, I saw the manufacturer: Ecoproducts. It was a compostable. I recoiled and — looking around me— carefully placed the container in the compost bin. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw one of UBC’s sustainability enforcers whisper something into his lapel.

I’ve lost too many friends to the tyranny of UBC’s sustainability initiatives. Kyle, my roommate — ex-roommate —put one of the brown compostable napkins in the paper bin. That night, I woke up to screaming.

Kyle was gone and his room was covered in dirt and blood. I never saw him again. Another friend put recyclable plastic in the green slot. The next day, he found his car papered with that poster of the two worms saying, “We love UBC compost — but not when it has plastic in it,” like hellish pink demons bent on reducing the campus’s contribution to climate change. Then his car burst into flames, puffing cosmic irony.

I’ve heard they’re even making compostable iClickers. It’s impossible to tell what’s real anymore. What’s compostable now? Chopsticks? Steel? Me? What’s the difference between this plastic bowl from Bento and the one from the Delly? They look more and more identical each day. They’re learning too fast for me to keep up. I fear that I will soon be swallowed by a wholly compostable campus.

What Blade Runner didn’t tell us about infiltrative manufacturing is that the first spies aren’t your enemies, but your friends. I feel my neighbours watching me each time I take out the trash. But the resistance is still strong.

The other day I saw a regular trash can, remnant of a dead age, placed on the corner of Main Mall and University Blvd. It was a show of defiance, a demonstration by the ordinary people who didn’t have the brain capacity to do basic waste sorting — people who longed for a simpler time. This will be my last entry, as I’m sure I will be taken by nightfall. The dirt will not swallow us. The resistance will rise.

Long live the landfill.

The Dingbat is The Ubyssey’s humour column. You can submit completed pieces or pitches to