Comment 62516

By cmc (anonymous) | Posted April 20, 2011 at 14:17:47

I'm with Undustrial on this. I live near the pedestrian overpass over the railway tracks at Emerald and just spent a good bit of my own time gathering up the accumulated waste and junk on the north side of the tracks. Not all of this dumping occurs because of the rules limiting garbage pickup but some of it surely does.

People have trouble getting rid of all kinds of stuff, especially if they lack a vehicle. If you want to social engineer your way to a post-waste society it's going to take a while and we still lack effective packaging laws in this province. Simple observation and experience tells me that the city's pickup rules are too restrictive now in some important respects.

The missing element in this discussion is the state of the city's finances. I don't question Councillor McHattie's motives in this matter but I tend to see this proposal as another measure devoted to cost cutting through service reduction under the cloak of environmentalism.

Something that doesn't receive enough discussion or acknowledgment on this site is the city's fiscal crisis. I support a city administration that provides the services the city's residents require through the city's public service. Unless Council finds ways to address the structural problems that force the tax levies upward, those services and the civil servants who provide them stand to be progressively cut or eliminated. I see the zero tax increase objective embraced by councillors this year as more of a political posture than an attempt to grapple with the underlying problems. Maybe that will begin next year.

People in my area seem to accept the current rules and mostly comply with them. If the city continues to turn the screws on garbage pickup I can imagine more non-compliance and a city that is that much less habitable. Let's allow that we all have responsibility for our own garbage generation but let's not turn this into a matter of morality to the extent that we forget that it is also a matter of practical necessity.

My own greatest ongoing crime against the environment--newspaper subscriptions which I maintain to support those institutions even though I can't really afford them. That's indisputably a lot of paper waste. Newspapers are delivered in plastic bags to boot.


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