Let’s Talk Garbage

Dale sent me this link and it’s pretty exciting. The city is basically hosting an open forum to hear Torontonians views on “the garbage problem”. It’s called the Community Environmental Assessment Team (CEAT). There is a great write up about it at blogto.
It’s this week and you have to call ahead to pre-register (416 392 9365). I hope that I don’t have a date with the toilet on that day because I really want to go!
Just in case I don’t get to go, or you don’t get to go, here’s my two cents worth now.
I think (and I know that many people disagree with me) that we should be charged for each bag of garbage that is taken away. I think specially marked compost-able plastic bags should be made and that we have to purchase those to throw the garbage out in. I think each should cost about a dollar. The revenue made can go back into the city, into recycling and waste management programs, and people will automatically start making less garbage because they don’t want to pay for the bags. It’s basically the same system that’s in almost every other country ( I saw it in England, Italy, Spain, Korea and Japan). I just added the bit about the special bags being biodegradable because I think that would be awesome!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Let’s Talk Garbage

  1. Evelyn Saungikar

    The problem with paying for bags is that you can’t stop other people from dumping their garbage bags in front of your house. Which, if they are the wrong kind or not properly tagged, the city won’t pick up. The only way to prevent this is to sit out all night on garbage day, with a shotgun across your lap, ready to take on anyone who tries to sneak their stuff onto your lawn.

    BTW, in Toronto bags aren’t practical anyway because the raccoons tear them up. We use reusable (!) bins.

    If all the grocery store bags could be made of biodegradable plastic, that would be a great solution. That’s all I use to package regular trash and green bin trash; just to keep the bin from getting disgusting. We still get maggots in the summer. Beyond gross.

  2. Evelyn
    I never thought of that. Why does it work in other countries? Are people more honest there? In North America, are we all just selfish pigs? It’s something I think about often. I used to teach ESL and I remember having lengthy conversations with my Korean and Japanese students about the lack of public bathrooms in Canada and the sad state of the few that we have. In Korea and Japan there are immaculate unnattended public washrooms everywhere (OK well some of them are a little dirty, but never vandalized). My students could not comprehend why someone would want to destroy “their own”property. In these discussions, it also came out that in their countries, school children had to clean to toilet at school and I thought that was maybe part of the secret-if you had to clean it, you wouldn’t want to mess it up.

  3. J

    I think that would be difficult to enforce in cities such as Vancouver and Regina (from my experience of living there) because everyone just throws their garbage into a communal dumpster. So, unless the city planned on changing that system, or having individual bins for each household (including each and every single apt) I don’t think it would work.
    I think that the idea of having ONLY biodegradable plastic bags is a viable one. Also, encouraging composting (cities should offer FREE workshops and provide supplies etc) and recycling is important. I was shocked when I moved to Regina from Vancouver to find that you have to PAY for recycling! I think is terrible….I do not notice very many people recycling – most likely because they want to save the $! That is not encouraging people to do something that is right, it is allowing them to be lazy. The same goes for dumpsters – once it is thrown out, no problem …. for that person that is …

  4. C

    I just wanted to say congratulations on the 31 days of no garbage. You’re an inspiration to a lot of people out there, myself included.
    In regards to your charging for bags, you mentioned other countries that run on that system, but you didn’t mention the cities that currently do that in Canada. I grew up in a small town about 2 hours east of Toronto and for as long as I can remember we’ve paid for our garbage. “Bag Tags” as the city calls them. It seems to be working in our community. I know a lot of people who recylce more, compost more, and just overall generate less waste to avoid the cost. Our community also has a limit to the amount of bags you can have curbside.

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