Monday, October 17, 2011

Waste Reduction Letter to the Editor

So this is National Waste Reduction Week!

Great, but I have to ask if we are doing all we can to promote actual waste reduction. In particular I am wondering about these massive garbage cans we were all issued last year.

We spent over half of August in another community this summer. They also revised their garbage collection this past year. And they did it better. Residents their had a chance to choose how big a garbage can they wanted: the size we have, half that size, and a quarter of the full one. And if you chose a smaller can then you paid less for garbage collection.

And yet here we were all given a garbage can that many people find way bigger than they need. We have four children. In a normal week our can is less than half full. Even if our 1 year old was in disposable diapers instead of cloth we would not come close to filling that massive can. We would jump at the idea to have a smaller can, or to do the other thing I noted done elsewhere (arguably for cost savings as much as waste reduction)--garbage collection every second week.

I applaud this community for moving to curbside recycling. I celebrate that we can put yard waste at the curb for pick up (although it would make more sense to have bins for that instead of all those plastic bags) instead of mixing it in with the garbage. I just wonder if we, as a community, could do more to push waste reduction. Great big garbage cans don't encourage waste reduction, but smaller ones definitely would. Especially if we got to pay less if we produced less waste.

Gord Waldie

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