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[GreenYes] Waste Debate in Ontario

Interesting letter posted in Guelph (ON) Tribune:

Pride in Wet/Dry Now Embarrassment


(Oct 31, 2006)

I read with interest the breakdown of how the mayoral candidates feel about
the state and future of our waste management system (Tribune, Oct. 23).

It is obvious that the negative attitude of our present mayor to the
recycling efforts of this city has had an undermining effect on the system,
progressing to the present mess we are in. I am embarrassed by the way our
present mayor and council have let our once-admired waste management program
become dysfunctional.

I also take direct exception to some of Kate Quarrie's comments. I live in
the large area of Guelph where we piloted various forms of waste sorting
before Wet/Dry came into being. Some of us sorted into two bags and some
into three. We had to make periodic adjustments on what was allowed in each
stream as the process was refined. We learned first-hand the value of taking
ownership for our waste production.

No public consultation, Ms Quarrie? There definitely was!

As to a third bag being added, as I mentioned, it was an option looked at
long ago. And yes, there is an element of experimentation and change
involved in a program that is innovative and involves factors that are not

I was proud of Guelph for being a leader in this field and enjoyed being
able to brag that I was from a community where people cared about reducing
the amount of waste they produced, reused and repaired items instead of just
pitching them, and recycled materials back into the resource stream. I am
embarrassed to see our garbage go to New York.

My household garbage is my responsibility. I can choose to buy items with
excessive packaging or built-in obsolescence or I can follow the three Rs. I
can control the amount and type of garbage I produce, but the bottom line
remains that it is ultimately my garbage and I don't mind sorting and taking
responsibility for it. I don't even mind taking a quick trip out to the
Wet/Dry facility several times a year to get rid of yard waste, hazardous
waste and the odd item that can't be picked up on the curb. It is a well
organized facility and I have never had to wait in line for long.

Let's get our garbage system back on track and choose a mayor and council
who are forward thinkers and have some vision. Incineration and landfilling
are solutions from past centuries.

Kit Knap


Kendall Christiansen

Gaia Strategies

151 Maple Street

Brooklyn, NY 11225

o: 718.941.9535; cell: 917.359.0725

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