Thursday, June 25, 2009

Garbage piling up

The garbage being reported about the city workers' strike, that is. After three days drivers are already lining up at waste transfer stations to toss their household waste, but strikers are making each supplicant wait 15 minutes, causing four-hour lineups. I wonder how many of those drivers leave their motors idling on these increasingly hot and humid days... I have no opinions on the strikers' or the city's issues, although if you can avoid using up your sick days, you ought to get some credit for that.

Last year homeowners and landlords in Toronto had to choose a garbage bin they thought they could fit two weeks' worth of garbage in. The mid-sized (1.5 bag size) to extra-large bins (I think four bags fit) have incremental costs associated with them, while the smallest bin (one bag) garners a $10 per year rebate on our solid waste management bill. I'm frugal (well, cheap), I recycle everything I can, and avoid excess packaging---well, we're all supposed to do that! So I generally put out the equivalent of one bag a month.

Our last bi-weekly garbage pickup was a week ago Tuesday. This week would have been recycling. Our Green Bins are emptied every week, because they hold compostable material including the stinky, attractive stuff like bones and fat and disposable diapers. And dogs and raccoons tip them over and scavenge what they can, leaving the crap strewn on the sidewalk for birds and squirrels and cats to pick over.

Now, we had lots of warning about this. The Green Tenant alerted us early enough, and provided numerous options for surviving a garbage strike, including some from his six-year-old son. So why didn't people adjust their habits JUST IN CASE? I guess some of us did. If the strike lasts another month, I'll probably have a bag and a half to go out. And being mostly vegetarian now I'll be able to compost almost everything except the used cat litter.

Which reminds me---I should go down and declump my babies' litter boxes today. I'll store the clumps in my old garbage can.

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