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Old Posted Jun 27, 2021, 11:51 AM
eltodesukane eltodesukane is offline
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Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
[B]Plastic bags, dog feces allowed in green bins as of July 2

Talking about that, on Merivale/Caldwell at the edge of the experimental farm, there's a garbage bin right next to a bench. Did I mentioned that this garbage bin is full of smelly dog poop, making the bench unusable?
Why the garbage bin need to be so located? Who design this?

Last edited by eltodesukane; Jun 30, 2021 at 8:34 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2021, 2:34 AM
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rocketphish rocketphish is online now
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To reduce Ottawa's waste, make tossing trash more expensive
What is it that makes you think we humans are capable of doing the right thing just, you know, because? We need a bit of a nudge.

Brigitte Pellerin, Ottawa Citizen
Publishing date: Jun 27, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read

I see fellow Citizen columnist Randall Denley is talking trash, as it were. Allow me to toss my compost onto the pile.

The news is, of course, grim. Our city’s landfill will reach capacity sometime around 2036 or 2038, officials say, and we must find a way to deal with this that does not involve anything too expensive, stinky or deleterious to the environment. If you’re keen to read the details, you can find them on the city of Ottawa’s website under Solid Waste Master Plan.

The gist of it is simple. Either we find ways to decrease how much trash we produce, even taking into consideration population growth, or we spend a fortune in money and environmental costs to bury or burn all this junk.

My colleague appears unimpressed by the recommendations put forward by city staff, including the vision that aims for a “zero-waste Ottawa achieved through progressive, collective and innovative action.” He calls this magical thinking.

He’s got a point — if by that he means we can’t reach zero-waste just by wishing for it. I don’t know about you but I have no reason to believe people will voluntarily change their habits for the benefit of future generations. What is it about humans that makes you think we are capable of doing the right thing just, you know, because? We usually need a bit of a nudge.

Also? Zero-waste is hard.

I first wrote about my own attempts in 2019, and even at my tiny scale of individual wannabe do-gooder it can be a bit of a struggle some days when, after all these efforts, there’s still, somehow, a bulging easy-tie sack of guilt at the curb. The pandemic hasn’t helped; it’s harder than it used to be to purchase items in reusable containers. But it’s still possible to buy fewer single-use plastic ones.

This is where I insert free publicity for two lovely Ottawa institutions that help you reduce the amount of packaging you purchase and throw out: Farm Boy for milk and cream; and Nu Grocery for a number of food and personal-care items. My dairy, dry goods, shampoo, plus assorted condiments and jams, are either packaging-free (shampoo bars are this century’s best invention, just saying) or in glass containers that I wash and reuse or return to get my deposit back.

Living in Westboro, I also belong to the local “Buy Nothing” group on Facebook where neighbours swap all kinds of stuff in a deliberate attempt at reducing waste. There are many such groups; I encourage you to look for one in your neck of the woods.

Perhaps you don’t care to emulate my habits. That’s fine. But here’s the thing: Everything we consume, and everything we throw out, has both a price and a cost. The price you know about. But what about the cost? Your garbage bag has to go somewhere. How much does it cost, in money and environmental degradation, to dispose of it and its contents?

We have no clue, and that’s a big part of the problem.

I’m surprised small-c conservatives don’t mention this more, but oddly they’re silent when it comes to socializing our garbage-disposal costs. Right now we’re asking our kids and grandkids (and also Mother Earth) to subsidize our immediate consumption “needs” instead of — I don’t know — forcing ourselves right here, right now to pay the true costs of what we generate in order to encourage ourselves to generate less of it.

Despite what city staff say, there aren’t 72 solutions to the problem. To diminish the amount of garbage we put out, we have to make it more expensive and less convenient to put out garbage. We need to make the price of our behaviour reflect its true cost, and stop socializing the burden of waste disposal.

To be blunt, we won’t suddenly become virtuous just because. But we’ll do it to save ourselves a $5 garbage tag, guaranteed.

Brigitte Pellerin is an Ottawa writer.

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