A picture of a big, blue Recology bin taking up aisle space next to a sleeping BART passenger from Fremont to San Francisco this week has raised a lot of eyebrows, and sparked a heated social media debate on cleanliness and classism.
First, the odd sight raises many questions. The two most obvious: Why is the bin there? Does it belong to the sleeping man in the red sneakers?
The image was captured by BART rider Juan-Carlos Zaldana on Monday, and he was very upset with the scene, tellling KTVU that “BART fares are the highest ever, dirty and smelly cars, no seats available and now this!”
After KTVU posted the picture on Instagram, many echoed Zaldana’s disgust. “WTF!!! #bart is really grossing me out! And #bart has the audacity to increase fares. Clean up your trains and stations,” posted Raquelildefonzo. Another person wrote that he longed for the clean trains in Japan.
But there were many others who posted on Instagram that people should have compassion for anyone who might have to earn money by selling recyclables. “OMG BIG DEAL,” posted a user named Ranstacknbands. “He or she is NOT BOTHERING anyone. Just trying to sleep.” And Drock_SF wrote: “It might not even belong to the passenger who is asleep. If it does belong to him, the container looks pretty clean, he might even be using it to collect cans. Nothing illegal occurring.”
BART agrees. Spokeswoman Alicia Trost told KTVU in an email, “this isn't against any rule or law. Both sleeping or bringing something on board.”