The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic


    Recycling Misinformation - CASE STUDY

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    Empire895

    Posts : 6
    Join date : 2009-10-28

    Recycling Misinformation - CASE STUDY

    Post by Empire895 on Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:02 pm

    I was asked by my boss to prepare some government reports about how we dispose of waste products--specifically, how we discard paper and the used oil from our presses. I was told that we recycled our paper and that we had the oil picked up by a truck. I knew that wasn't true. The boss doesn't like to discuss anything, especially something like that. I did some asking around and found out that we used to do proper disposal, but it cost $714 to have the truck come and get the oil and grease, and that the person responsible before I got the job had decided it wasn't worth it because we had to pay the inspector $220 to come out and look at what we did, so he was taking the oil to the dump himself. I decided that I should ask the boss about it.

    It was an awful meeting. He told me that it was my responsibility to get rid of it, and I could either take it myself or take the money out of my salary. I knew that his decision wasn't a good decision, but I didn't want to lose my job. I decided to talk about it in one of our ethics discussions at College. The class was divided on whether I should blow the whistle on the boss; if I should haul the waste myself; or if I should fill out the papers as I had been told. After a lot of thought, I decided to haul it to a recycle place myself. It only took one Saturday morning every four months or so, but I think it isn't part of my responsibility. The company is still in business, which is the most good for the most people, and I am thinking right now that is the best decision. At least the oil is getting to the right place, and I do have my job. Before this class I probably would have just lied on the report.


    In a two page argument answer the following questions:
    1. What are the ethical responsibilities of the company?
    2. What harms are being caused by the company?
    3. What are the ethical responsibilities of Jerry's boss?
    4. What harms are being caused by Jerry's boss?
    5. What are Jerry's ethical responsibilities?
    6. Jerry selects a utilitarian argument with this case. Explain how this is an appropriate or inappropriate ethics justification.

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