Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trash Talk

I was going to post last week about how much my doggies love garbage day, and how they probably won't get as much pleasure by the end of the year.  I'll be happier, but they won't.

Several years ago, our city gov't ("they") officials decided that instead of having to hire lots of people to collect residential garbage by the can/bag, (labour intensive, not cost effective, not always "easy") that they would put out large bins every few houses, to "automate" the system.  Some people were putting out too many bags, others put out loose yard waste (branches, etc.) or heavy items that were not easily picked up.  So, these bins were supposed to fix that problem.  It didn't - the bins took up space that vehicles were to drive on, people put big heavy things beside the bins, the person whose home it was placed near got junk everywhere, they smelled bad, they were often overfilled/overflowing, and they were definitely attractive to graffiti artists and fire bugs.  So, part way through converting the whole city, they stopped... some areas had the bins, some didn't.  A few years ago, several ideas were tossed about for a user pay system.  I personally liked the idea, but was concerned about how it would be policed - I would not want to be charged if a neighbour put there trash outside of my yard.  Eventually, they came out with things like a blue box program to reduce the amount of garbage going to a landfill.  Great - too bad they found it more cost effective to send about half of what they collect to the landfill than to truck it off to a recycling center.  They still collect it, though.  Then, they finally came up with a different automated type bin system.  We now have a garbage cart.  It's about four feet high, and about two or two and a half feet square (slightly tapered, and I haven't actually measured it).  So, now instead of a truck driver and one, two or three men following along to toss bags and empty cans, there is just one truck driver who comes along and scoops up the cart/bins, then dumps and returns them.  The blue boxes are still collected the "old fashioned" way.  The dogs like to watch the truck, but they are even happier when the blue box gets emptied - they love to bark at/to the men, who I've seen smile, wave, and greet the dogs, too.

That will change.... They are going to now go to a similar cart/bin system for blue box stuff.  I'll be happy - the bins hold quite a bit.  They will be smaller than the trash bins (anyone else see anything wrong with that picture?) but still bigger than the boxes.  And they don't have to be kept indoors to keep the recyclables out of the wind and rain... 

The drawbacks?  Well - besides the fact that my doggies won't get to greet the workers anymore, there is the obvious - those people will be out of work.  And, it is not going to be a user pay system - we'll all be paying to have the new system put in place.  Why does that bother me?  Well - because the idea is to get people to reduce the trash they send to the landfill.  So, where is the reward for the people who do, or are trying to reduce the waste?  That is why I support user-pay trash collection - those who put the bigger burden on the system should pay more to maintain the system, in my opinion.  And, again, if they want people to throw less out, and recycle more, why is the trash can bigger than the recycle can?  (oh, right, because they only take about half of what can be recycled, and send a portion of that to the landfill anyway).  Oh, and they are also instituting a compostable/yard waste pick up as well, which we all share in paying for.  Even if we will never use the service.

See, that is what bothers me the most.  I have three compost bins in my yard - and I use them year round.  I've gotten a lot of good dirt for garden and yard dressing.  I love my compost bins, and no way am I giving away my compost raw materials!!  Second, I do use the blue box, and put my recyclable stuff in there all the time.  But that is another of the things that sort of irks me - I know that "recycle" is the THIRD "R".  The first is "Reduce" - - reduce the amount of waste you produce as much as possible.  I try to buy bulk, look for items that do not have excess packaging, and move on frequently to the second "R" - "Reuse".   A great many items that come into this house get repurposed for something else.  A lot of packaging can be reused several times before finding its way to the blue box.  So what this all boils down to is, people need to be educated to encourage them to reduce the waste, not just penalized with an across the board fee while the city has to deal with the problem.  Heck, I've reduced my "trash" (admittedly, there are only two humans living in this house) to the point that if it weren't for the fact the dogs like to watch, I would only need to put out the bin once every two weeks.  And that includes the fact that we do have two dogs, and two cats, that produce absolute waste matter....

So, that is my rant for the day.  I've been posting mostly craft stuff for some time - and this blog was supposed to be more than just craft information - it was supposed to be a place for me to do this sort of venting and journaling of my opinions.  But, in all fairness, I could give a progress report - if any of my craft fans are still with me ;)  I did a few rounds on Hermione's Everyday Socks, and I'm a little concerned about the pattern showing up after all.  The original design was done in a subtle variegated yarn, mine is a bit brighter.  So, I'm afraid the texturing won't sow so much.  That, or the pattern doesn't really match the picture- I'll need to inspect that a little closer, though, to be sure.  And, I worked some more on the baby blanket - which I'm starting to feel uncomfortable about again.... I've gotten nearly 20 repeats done now, but have used more than half a ball of yarn - so I'll either have to go buy more (need to do 50 repeats), or I think I want to rip and restart again on a larger hook again.  While this effort is not as stiff as the first, it still isn't as soft as I'd like it to be.  If I'm not happy with the project, I'll start dragging my feet on it.  And it will take forever to finish, and I won't be happy at all.... On the other hand, it will definitely set me back timewise to restart.  *sigh*.  I'll think about it today, and hopefully I'll have made a decision by the time my crafting session starts tonight.  So, no pics - nothing picture worthy at the moment.

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