I don’t have the habit of peeking in the bins, especially when I’m on a holiday (with no intention of sounding arrogant or posh), but this one caught my eye and made me think of irony and alternatives.

By sticking those labels on the bins, the local council has really taken good care of warning the scavengers and the homeless.
In fact, to make the effort of printing this text on a sticky label, printing thousands of them, and sticking them all around the town’s public bins means that it is quite the habit of some people to nap in a public bin for authorities to put warnings.

But, I mused, instead of warning that sleeping in the bin could result in injury or death, couldn’t the government people introduce special ‘bins for napping only’ then, as an alternative?
They can place the ‘bin for napping only’ next to the bin ‘for glass’ only, which is next to the bin ‘for paper’ only, which is next to the bin ‘for plastic’ only.
You get where I’m going.
Then, the label on the ‘bins for napping only’ would read:
“Bin for napping only. Don’t throw anything unless it’s edible, wearable or valuable. Don’t nap for more than 45 minutes if there is a queue outside the bin”.

The irony?
It’s in the label itself, not in the suggested alternative.
A warning sign isn’t necessarily protecting anyone, at least not the homeless.
It’s only a precaution against possible lawsuit.
We have our fancy bins.
We have even more fancier garbage bags – one ‘for glass only’, one ‘for plastic only’, one for ‘paper only’.
You get where I’m going.
Yet, there are thousands of homeless people all over the big cities (on average, 250 in London each night who sleep under the stars, and not because they are romantic!).
This is not to blame anyone in particular.
In fact, some homeless people just chose this lifestyle out of free will.
It’s the way we tackle certain issues that disillusions us to believe that we’ve taken care of the big problem when we haven’t.
Just like these labels.
The way we tackle the issue of reducing global pollution, while introducing five types of bins and as many types of garbage bags than the original one.

Warning has nothing to do with protecting.

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