"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

Monday 2 June 2014

You were saying Tim

Tim the Enchanter has left a new comment on your post "Greenhorn ..... a must in the beginning":

Show your work.

Back in the day when the education system cared about such things it was common to have test marks deducted for failing to "show your work" even if you had the correct answer because the teacher wanted to know if you had grasped the concept or had just guessed.
The reason being that one day you might build a bridge and it would be better if the girder sizes were properly determined and not merely guessed at.

Council (with some exceptions) thinks it has arrived at the answer "Clear Bags".
They didn't figure that out.
They didn't even guess but that's not the worst part.
They used my money to pay a consulting company to guess for them.
But that's OK because it's the same company that Markham paid to guess for them.
Except that Markham has seven times the population and an entirely different demographic then Aurora but I guess that's beside the point.

So far the only beneficiary of this process is the consultant.
They get paid even if their guess is wrong.
What about the town and the taxpayers?
What do we get?

Is it so hard to figure out?

All of the boxes, bags, bundles and bins we set at the end of our driveways have a cost associated with them.
We contract GFL to haul it away.
The Region either burns or recycles 80% of it.

How much does it cost per ton to haul and dispose of garbage?
How much does it cost per ton to haul and process recyclables?

Theoretically, clear bags mean less garbage, more recyclables.
One ton less garbage means one more ton of recyclables.
What does that do to the overall costs?

And will there be new disposal rates when we start burning our garbage in Durham instead of Brampton or New York?

Show your work.
Then we'll know if clear bags are better.

And please, no subjective references to 'saving the environment'.
I'm talking dollars - like my ever increasing tax bill - which is not subjective.
But by all means, if getting a gold star for Best Diversion Rate is what excites some people then simply amend the by-law and permit clear bags (even though Councillor Abel claims he's been using them anyway).
Maybe folks can start their own neighbourhood 'garbage shaming' initiatives.
Perhaps get together and appoint a Garbage Warden and give them a flashlight and a GW armband.

Posted by Tim the Enchanter to Our Town and Its Business at 2 June 2014 07:2


I use a garbage bin. I don't have a garage. I don't want to keep garbage in the house for two weeks.

I don't want to  carry it to the back of the house ,then carry  back it to the end of the driveway.

I have purchased an unobtrusive enclosure that sits near my front door.

My grand-daughrer has two composters percolating in a space created some years ago for te same purpose. It's  enclosed by shrubs . My son Andrew is a neat freak. Heather and Amdrew take care of my yard  so my composter  disappeared.

Stephanie does vermi-culture in two big boxes downstairs where she lives. I tried that once.It was too footery.

I don't buy newspapers any more. They don't give me the news of interest. The news  is about situations I am powerless to influence. The only newspapers that come to the house are delivered free. One does not come into the house . It seems I'm not missing much.

I have no interest in neighbours garbage.

Neighbourly interest in mine is not something I would promote.

I take  garbage seriously. It costs a fortune.

I want the town to collect efficiently ,the Region to dispose  responsibly and competent oversight
from the Province.

I don't  give a tinker's cuss for Gold Stars or Awards.

They're like Father's Day Cards.

Fancy  schmancy....  with a ridiculous price tag.

Closer examination might reveal cronyism  and entitlements. .... the problem of governments  worl over

And  also .....Right  here in River City.

Robert Preston must have been close to seventy when he played that role in the Music Man.

It was a memorable performance. It was the first rap music.

Dick Illingworth reminded  me of Robert Preston. I don't think I ever told him.I think he would have liked  that.

I was elected to  the first two year  term . There were two greenhorns. Myself and the late Peter Miller.

Peter was a neighbour. Lived  round the corner.  Kids went to school with mine. Pete was a hockey coach. My kids played hockey.Sue was a member of the Catholic Women's League.So was I.

Seven incumbents were re-elected. I don't  think we displaced anyone. Most of the incumbents had roots deep in the community. They were happy to share and we were happy to  learn.The past was yesterday.

We had standing committees. That was a good learning tool.Council wasn't televised but the Town Hall was in the centre of the downtown block. All the stores were occupied. The street telegraph worked just fine.


Anonymous said...

The street telegraph has been replace by e-mails , blogs & a bit of talking to those neighbours who still actually reside full-time in their homes. I have some whose kids go to school out of town, who work out of town and travel & spend the summer at their cottages. We truly are a bedroom community now. We are certainly not Markham.
A foot-note to Tim: I believe it was Cllr Gallo who confessed to using the clear bags despite that being an infraction of the current by-law.

Tim the Enchanter said...

May 30 Auroran - Clear bags binned until 2015

"According to Mr. Simanovsis, the entire program is dedicated to increasing Aurora’s Diversion rates. Current contracts with Green For Life peg the costs of handling recyclables as higher than garbage. At this point, the actual cost of switching over remains hypothetical."

Oh I see.
So it is all about the pursuit of a Diversion Merit Badge after all.
And it would appear we have to pay extra for the "bragging rights".
Is the contest wide open or is there a current Diversion Champion we're trying to unseat?
In that case - why wait?
Game on!

For a second there I thought my tax dollars, not to mention valuable thumb-twiddling council time were being wasted.

BTW - The "I've been using clear bags for two months now" confession sure SOUNDED like Mr. Abel.
(At about 107.44 of the movie)

Anonymous said...


When are clear bags an infraction of the current by-law...

From the new Ton web site:

Plastic Bags for Waste
Must be securely tied;
​No loose grocery/kitchen catcher bags;
Do not place sharp objects inside bags. Place these materials in a separate, sealed and labeled cardboard box;
Maximum weight 22 kg (50 lbs)

Anonymous said...

I do not know if your question is important but Council were told last Tuesday that the clear bags were not covered by the current by-law. I think that would have been Mr S. in reply to a question from a councillor.

Anonymous said...

There are two of us in our household and we follow the recycling directions to the letter.

Initially blue boxer were meant to keep paper separate from glass, plastic and metal objects so we use one box for paper and another for the rest. The green bin is supposed to be, in theory, that which is compostable.

There were separate sections in the garbage truck into which were to be thrown the contents of the two blue boxes and the green bin.

But I have since seen the garbage truck up close and there are no separate sections and everything gets thrown in together.

Our other garage, that is collected every other week is in plastic garbage bags and amounts to one and one half such bagfuls. I see some of our neighbours with two and sometimes three times as much garbage as we generate; their household population is not of a size proportional to their garbage.

Some municipalities require garbage bags to have tags on them, that have to be purchased, probably a dollar or two each.

How would something like this work in Aurora?

Frankly all this council debate about garbage bags is CRAP and a huge waste of time, but then time is money and our council sure likes to spend money.

Anonymous said...

How about " If it ain't broke, don't fix it ?"
No navel-gazing about stuff like garbage or tree treatment or removal when residents appear to be doing their best
No codes of conduct for Anything including neighbourhoods
No addition of expensive projects like parks not Needed
Yadda yadda yadda.........

Anonymous said...

We should not forget the Post Office as a centre of information. Anyone moving into a new town would have been wise to establish a box & get to know all those who came during the day.
No one have ever explained why Aurora lost its PO & sorting hub. Gormley still has an active PO & you could miss that town [?] if you sneezed driving through the place.

Anonymous said...

There have been good ideas, mainly from the public, that do not affect the bottom line. The church fund-raiser after the fire makes perfect sense, the tennis bubble was a no-brainer & the afternoon of gospel in the park was a winner. The Chamber of Commerce has a year's worth just from the street sale.

Anonymous said...

Tim...Stop making so much sense! It's infuriating.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps if you contacted Canada Post, they would provide you with the press release that came out to explain WHY the Aurora PO was being closed.

Of course, you can blame the mayor or council, but Canada Post is a Federal thing.

Anonymous said...

How about if we create our own “Diversion Merit Badge”….and award it to ourselves. We can all pat each other on the back. Heck!....pick someone to be the “diversion hero” and give them an award too! Organization do it all the time!!! Instead of “diverting” our money to someone else, we get to keep it!!! How’s that for a plan?