"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Friday, 16 January 2015

Another New Beginning


A headline in the Auroran yesterday was a moment. The town is going to encourage the use of backyard compost bins.
I smiled.
Before the Green Bin program, the Region promoted backyard composting and sold bins at a competitive price.

 At the start of the program the home composting program was eliminated.

The material was required for the Green Bin system to work.

Single family homes were provided with two buckets. One for outside and a smaller one with a lid to collect  the scraps indoors and transfer to the  green bin in the garage ,if you had one

There being  no satisfactory way of separating garbage  that slides down a single chute, multiple residential buildings were not included.

A question of  viability of a partial program was brushed aside with a  promise of further study.

Prior to Green Bins, homeowners transported garden waste to the organic waste recycling yard  created by Miller Paving under contract to the Region  on Bloomington Road.



Finished compost could  be obtained there at no cost.

The Green Bin Program was launched  later with fanfare, substantial increased cost and no more free
compost.

Turtle Island won the contract.

Miller Paving,the competing contractor argued  experience and equipment in the bid were not properly analyzed and the award was not competitive.

Residents bought into the plan . Bottles, jars and tins were washed, boxes flattened, plastic folded  and paper tied in bundles.

Once a month  organic waste, branches cut to a certain length and tied securely, was collected
curbside.

Mothers demonstrated to children how the planet could be saved.

Buy-in was phenomenal. The program was declared a resounding success.

No plastic was permitted in the green bins.
Not much later that changed.
Plastic bags were quietly re-introduced. The fast- changing organic nature of waste proved to be too disgusting  to contemplate.

Subsequent failures in collection required meetings of the northern six municipalities and Turtle Island. More equipment had to be purchased.More personnel hired. No extra cost reported

Fastidious  householders started to notice and comment that garbage separation was futile. It was being undone at curbside.

Since the Green Bin program started, a composting plant in Newmarket proved problematic.Separating  plastic covers from disposable diapers was a problem.

The plant was eventually closed by court  order because of offensive odours from the process.

Composting  material has had to be transported to a facility in Quebec since .

A joint  York/ Durham  garbage incinerator was completed and is no doubt in operation.An extravagant opening celebration was organized.

Turtle Island  has been sold to another contractor .

Now a new beginning is planned . Clear bags  presumably to ensure prohibited material will not find its way into the incinerator, while opaque bags  are permitted inside the clear.

Garbage limits are proposed to be imposed .

Policing  of new restrictions will be enforced. Stickers will be stuck on uncollectibles.

Restricted service is reduced service yet  no reference is made to reduced cost .

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I find this hilarious. As long-time residents we have always done what was required in the way of sorting the garbage. But when kids notice that the system is broken , it is time to stop being such suckers. We are going to try to be like Markham in 2 easy stages - & pigs fly too

Anonymous said...

Exactly.

Anonymous said...


"Canada's crisis-in-waiting" and it isn't trash

In a major editorial in today's Globe and Mail

"Since we are all going to get old and die one day, we have a stake in how well Canada's health-care system looks after senior citizens. The problem is not many of us are confident that it's going well.The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released a poll in August in which Canadians expressed a sincere set of worries about their medical prospects in old age.Four out of five said they aren't confident they'll be able to access the health service they will need. Three-quarters are worried they won't have the money to pay for services that aren't covered by medicare after that retire. And 61 per cent doubt the country's hospitals and long-term care facilities will be able to meet the demands of Canada's relentlessly aging population."

The above represents one eighth of the editorial.

Every Canadian above a certain age should make this compulsory reading.

The garage issue is certainly a challenging one but it can be solved in a trice and at a fraction of the cost of the failure that seems to be an inherent part of our nation's health care system.

Anonymous said...

Thought the exact same thing when hearing about the garbage "crisis", and wanting government "accountability", as 3/4 of the electorate sit at home and complain about our municipal, provincial and federal problems.

Anonymous said...

There are just so many darned things about which we can do nothing. If that isn't depressing enough, we have to realize how fortunate we are compared to others.

Anonymous said...

09:30 - Being fortunate is depressing?

Anonymous said...

11:56
Unless you feel no empathy