A Glass Definitely Half-Full

As the Big Smoke moves into day 5 of a garbage strike – well, actually, a strike of city workers in general but garbage is big in the eye of the media – there’s some good news, and a word to the Wise…

Gas MaskTorontonians are purportedly in a whiny mood over the first garbage strike in some great number of years. Beleaguered taxpayers line up for hours in the summer heat to drop off bags filled with plastic waste at transfer stations where union members hold sway, and clubbers are offended that there’s more stench than usual at their dining patios.

Now, it is rather annoying that the it’s-all-about-me-I’ll-show-everyone clods are dumping trash where they shouldn’t, but it sure doesn’t help that the city has cordoned off additional dumping areas in parking lots and outdoor arenas in NIMBY neighbourhoods. No threat to public health, just a threat to already cloudy optics.

Meanwhile, some businesses, notably in the Greektown restaurant district, have just gone ahead and hired private haulers to remove their garbage. Good on them.

In the east end, one of  the residents is spearheading a daily litter cleanup at Kew Beach, noting that a few pieces of trash can lead to a mountain, unless people take pride in their community.

“This is our beach, If we all help out 15, 20 minutes a day, or half an hour, we’ll keep it under control, if we don’t, it’ll go real bad real fast.”

This evening, the leafy west-end High Park area was blessed by the visit of two earnest, clean-cut and entrepreneurial young men who were going door to door, offering to take garbage to the dump for $5 a bag.

Ryan, who showed up at my door, first apologized for setting my dogs off into their usual they’re coming to kill us barking frenzy. His friend has a relative who lives in this neighbourhood, so they came to help out. In a smart way.

Ryan admitted that it was probably a little premature for  our neighbourhood. I throw out maybe one tiny bag of trash a month; the rest goes to recycling, and most of the green bin stuff is zoo poo. Our mayor lives out this way, and between cycling to work or taking the Red Rocket, he and his family probably compost everything and waste nothing (at home, anyway).

Long story short, Ryan’s initiative is a small but significant step towards turning this place around, as is the Beach resident’s invitation to his neighbours. It’s a no-brainer that the morons that think their effluent is someone else’s problem and the brilliant entrepreneurs and citizens who take pride in their communities who create great wins have very different world-views. More guys like Ryan, his buddy and the gentleman in the Beach in the gene pool, please.


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