Friday, October 28, 2005

Keep It Clean


keep it clean
Originally uploaded by 416style.
Much to the dismay of many others, I'm one of those people that takes garbage pretty seriously, not just my garbage, everyone's garbage. If I see someone chuck something out their car window I honk and swear. If someone on a boat cruise I'm on throws a cigarette butt in the lake I'm gonna tell them the lake is not their ashtray. If I'm at someone's for dinner and they're not using their green bin, I'll do it myself. (Yeah, they love me.) Thankfully, I have a good group of friends, most of whom also believe it's important to keep this city looking great.

When these new bins started hitting the city streets I was intrigued, but not convinced they were the best idea. I'll admit I like that there are separate places for litter, butts and recycling. Reminds me a bit of Japan's system, which has the Japanese separating into burnable garbage and just plain trash. Wish we were there too. Copenhagen, for example, uses its garbage, via incinerators, to heat homes throughout the country. Here, uneducated activists shut down the idea of incinerators before it could be properly examined. Things have changed since the first incinerating programs popped up 35 years ago. Toxins aren't allowed to spew into the air.

Toronto's trying some new things out but it's not that forward thinking. Instead, we're about to impose limits on household waste, supposedly in an effort to increase recycling and organic separation. But both those programs have been larger successes than the municipal government ever hoped for.

Unfortunately not too much will change with the launch of these new bins. The program’s success will likely only be measured by advertising revenues brought in. I have two big beefs with the new bins and it's not the advertising. One of the problems with Toronto's garbage is that there just aren't enough places to dispose of trash, but my major concern is safety. These short bins are nice and cute but when I'm walking around the streets at night, I already weave my way around the sidewalk, making sure no one lurking behind a doorway or hedge can get too close to me. Was that not a consideration here? Safety on the streets? I hope someone realizes this, then I can tackle my next big garbage issue: no recycling in Toronto movie theatres. You better believe I give them my two cents every time I go.

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