[Noisebridge-discuss] Stacks of dirty dishes

Albert Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Thu Jan 13 18:14:09 UTC 2011

I'm not sure I've seen the sinks not filled with dirty dishes more
times than I can count on one hand in the last several months. This is
kind of a tricky problem to solve, and I thought once the dishwasher
got set up it would abate a little, but it hasn't. It's a standard
"tragedy of the commons" problem: everyone has incentive to use the
dishes but nobody has as much incentive to keep them clean.

I've given it some thought, and I think the only long-term solution is
to move the dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher, wash them,
then put them in a box and drop them off at Thrift Town (about a block
from Noisebridge). We can then switch to disposable plateware if we
run out of dishes (which are a lot easier to clean up).

I'll volunteer to do this.

Chore wheels and constant reminders won't work in the long-term or for
our particular space (there's too many people.) Elaborate technical
fixes that we can invent aren't practical. Appointing or even hiring
someone(s) to keep the sink cleared isn't something anyone wants to
sign up for or we can really afford over the long-term.

And the Thrift Town solution regulates itself nicely; if people care
enough about having dishes over paper plates they'll stick around, if
not, we'll have fewer dishes that need to be taken care of and it
becomes easier to keep them clean.

I've thought it through, but if anyone has solutions that are
long-term, practical, and cost-effective then email this thread. I'll
post a sign about this policy in the kitchen for people who aren't on
the mailing list.


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