Monday, March 14, 2011

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Like most Torontonians, I have an ambivalent relationship with my trash. Sure, I’d like to believe the department of Solid Waste Management is processing it all as best they can, but mostly I’m just happy to find the bin empty when I come home on garbage day. The alternative is to wonder what really happens after the truck pulls away from the curb, a suspicion that goes back to the days, not long ago, when the authorities insisted we carefully separate all the paper from our other recyclables and then forced us to watch as they mixed it together again.

Supposedly, though, the waste management system in Toronto has been improving, slowly, to the point where I once heard the recycling program had actually been too successful, that together we had diverted so much waste from the landfill sites, there simply wasn’t a large enough market to absorb it all, and that they had decided to store it—temporarily, we were assured—in a dump. And so I imagined myself desperately pushing through the crowded streets, like Charlton Heston at the end of Soylent Green, sharing my horror with anyone who’d listen: “Our garbage! The city’s just throwing it away!”


  1. ha smiles... you know we germans are really good when it comes to separating trash and recycle it.. we separate paper and plastic as well and they get picked up by three different organizations on different days so i really hope they don't put it together again...that would make me mad..ha...smiles but i never drove after them to def. find out i have to admit...maybe i should one day


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