The President of the company is going to be visiting the Valve Store in early August and apparently he is a big proponent of 5S. So much so that he is almost militant about it. So a few months back they forwarded a PowerPoint presentation about how we can prepare our cubicles so as to look nice and neat and orderly. But very few individuals actually took it as to mean the letter of the law. My cubical neighbor to the rear was one of them1, so not to be outdone, I did too2. This morning with the visit closer on the horizon the PowerPoint presentation was re-emailed to every one. There were just 2 items I still needed to address, so I undertook them this morning.
The first was removing the white cardboard pieces I had strategically placed in the A/C vents to keep the cold air from blowing on my neck and the second was removing the boxes under my desk, one of which was my paper recycling one. With that gone I wondered how I should handling that usual gathering of no longer need paper pile. So I emailed my immediate supervisor:
In the past I kept an old box that the reams of paper come in under my desk where I would toss waste paper for recycling. I’d empty it every month or whenever it got fairly full. On the second page (which is numbered 43) of the 5S rules you forwarded4 yesterday, bullet point #6 says “No boxes, parts, etc. “stored” under the desktop, drawers, etc.”, so I have tossed my recycling box in a gray recycling cart on the Assembly floor.
I figure I have three options on what to do with paper that needs to be recycled:
- Just toss it in the trash.
- Put in a pile on the desktop (space is not an issue for this) and each day on the way out the door throw it in the big blue bin.
- Spend $8 on a dedicated recycle “waste” basket from Staples.
What is your opinion on my best way to recycle paper under our 5S rules?
When his answer back was that he was going to check with the big boss about buying everyone a blue wastebasket, I wrote back saying that not to worry about that as my letter was sort of tongue in cheek and that I was planning on doing #2. And that actually I was going to take the whole Lean thing even further by instead of waiting until the end of the day, because the large department blue recycling can was right next to the printer, I would dump my paper to be recycled every time I went over to pick up my freshly minted future recycling.