Thursday, 21 April 2011

It's all garbage

The city of Toronto has a seemingly efficient waste disposal program. We have three bins: a green bin for biodegradable waste. Often I see signs that say, "if you can eat, so can I", which, I am assuming is meant to encourage people to dispose of their waste responsibly; a recycling bin, for...well recycling; and a garbage bin for all other waste. Green bins are collected weekly and the recycling and garbage, fortnightly.

I was one of those people that was super excited when the new garbage bin program came into being. Mainly because you actually received a tiny incentive for recycling and disposing of your waste responsibly. I can't think of a better word than responsible because we have an obligation to at least dispose our crap with some sensitivity to the fact that we aren't the only species inhabiting this planet. Well, this incentive I speak of is basically a credit on your solid waste disposal bill (yep, we pay a separate bill to get rid of our crap. Someone has to pay the United States for allowing Canada to dump its garbage there). You receive this credit/refund if you order the smallest garbage bin. I figured that this meant people will now dispose waste very mindfully. We ordered the smallest bin because we only ever had one garbage bag even before the program came into effect and I talked no end about it hoping to see tiny bins up and down the street.

The new bins have been in place for a year or so now and what I find is that with the exception of our bachelor neighbour (who does not have a green bin), the rest of the folks on our street have gigantic gray garbage bins. So basically, they are still throwing out a ridiculous amount of stuff, a lot what can either be recycled or composted. They also don't care for the tiny incentive.

And today I saw the waste collection guy throw in garbage and recycling into the same truck!!! I guess it doesn't help that the bins are gray and blue and what's worse collectors are almost always male and they could use a few more cone cells in their retina to help discriminate the gray from blue. I really am not sure why the area we were driving through had both bins out and why they were both being collected by the same truck. I guess for most people it is all just garbage. And that I think is very very sad.

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