GUNTER: City’s impractical garbage tips show how out of touch officials are

GUNTER: City’s impractical garbage tips show how out of touch officials are


Article content

On Friday, the city sent out helpful “tips for safe, efficient winter waste collection.”


Article content

It’s always an indication that a government program is too complicated when the government responsible feels it has to send you helpful hints on how to comply.

It’s also an insult. The implication is the program isn’t working because you’re too stupid, not because the program is flawed.

Strain your soups and stews before putting the chunks in the food scraps bin. That was one of my favourites.

Really!? I now have to strain leftover soup? You mean, Ms. and Mr. Garbagecrats, that you complicated my garbage by adding a third stream this summer – composting, in addition to garbage and recycling. And now you need me to dehydrate my food waste before putting it in your bin.

Another of my favourites: “Pre-freeze organics in separate containers before putting them outside in your food scraps cart.”


Article content

No, seriously. The city suggests we not only dehydrate our food scraps but also pre-freeze them.

And just where does the city propose we pre-freeze our garbage? Their announcement made it sound like we should pre-freeze it inside somewhere. Honestly, do they seriously propose we put our garbage in our freezers with our food?

The city acknowledges, indirectly, that the compostable bags we all must use often break or start to dissolve before they can come empty our bins leaving us with an awful mess. Their solution? Squeezing even more liquid out of “organics” before disposing of them.

Who has the time or desire?

The city now, also, recommends we stir the bags in our bins “using a broom or shovel handle,” before their trucks arrive, to ensure the bags are not frozen into the bin and hard to collect.


Article content

Really!? That doesn’t seem silly to the city? They honestly think they can get universal compliance with a system that makes each of us a part-time sanitation employee?

Who works for whom? Do we work for the city or the other way around?

A source with the city of St. Albert tells me that city has been trying for years to implement a similar, multistream garbage system. At best, their internal audits show under 20 per cent full compliance.

This also ties in with the city’s proposed plastics ban, announced last week. It will be implemented in 2023, if council approves it. (And who imagines our new ultra-environmentalist, uber-social-justice warrior council will reject the radical plan?)

Plastic shopping bags will be banned, entirely. And high fees will be charged for reusable bags.


Article content

There will be a 25-cent minimum charge for disposable cups. Plastic straws are out, too, as are all styrofoam takeout containers.

The city suggests Edmontonians take their own container to a restaurant to pick up their meals.

How unsanitary is that at the best of times, let alone in a pandemic? And who is going to know what size and shape of container to take?

Besides, takeout is down, delivery is way up. Should my delivery driver come to my house first to get my containers, then go the restaurant for the food and come back?

Finally, I rolled by eyes at the suggestion that if restaurants charge for a bag or cup, the city will generously let restaurateurs keep the money to help defray the cost of buying reusable dishes, glasses and utensils, hiring dishwashers and training staff.

Such fees would be just a tiny fraction of those added costs, though, to say nothing of any decline in sales from customers throwing up their hands and deciding not to order.

These solutions are completely impractical and indicative that most city planners don’t live in the real world occupied by the citizens they are supposed to be serving.



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *