Recently, Starbucks moved across the Post Road. It exchanged comfy, friendly digs with limited parking near the diner for cold, unfriendly digs with equally limited parking — but a drive-thru! — near Bank of America.
Fairly quickly, customers noticed that the coffee chain with the green logo was anything but environmentally green. The outside was a mess — though that’s been cleaned up a bit.
Meanwhile, inside there was no way for customers to separate paper and plastic goods from everything else.
Robie Spector had spent years trying to get managers at the previous Starbucks location to recycle. Facing defensiveness and obfuscation, she stopped going there.
Robie gave the new place a try. She was distressed to see no recycling.
She tried again. Again, she got the same lack of answers and “a dash of odd vibe.”
She contacted Starbucks corporate. A district manager called back, blaming the landlord.
Robie contacted the first selectman’s office, who told her to call Public Works. They had good news: State law mandates that businesses recycle.
However, there are no inspectors. So companies do what they want, unchecked.
As they chatted, Robie and Scott Sullivan of Public Works realized that Panera by Home Goods does a great job of recycling. Robie set up a meeting with Sharon, the general manager, who was quite helpful. She emboldened Robie to keep pressing Starbucks’ district manager.
She did. Finally, Robie says, Starbucks is recycling.
At least, it seems that way. Of course, it could all end up in the same place out back. (Thankfully though, that trash has been cleaned up.)
As Thomas Jefferson sort of said, eternal vigilance is the price of a grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk.