Can’t just dump our garbage in a hole in the ground

Okay, I have to admit, my first response to the city’s new one garbage can limit was to say, “Oh, I guess I’ll have to get one of those bigger cans with the wheels on them.”

Okay, I have to admit, my first response to the city’s new one garbage can limit was to say, “Oh, I guess I’ll have to get one of those bigger cans with the wheels on them.”

Then, I was informed by indignant letters and e-mails to the editor that it’s not just the amount of garbage cans that counts, it’s the size. Those larger cans are too large and the limit is actually based on volume not just number – 80 litres, to be exact.

So, alright, I revise my plan. I adapt.

The city, meanwhile, decided to backtrack on its policy temporarily due to residents’ backlash. Once again Campbell Riverites fly off the handle over having to change their ways. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such an unwillingness to change.

The city did handle this poorly. These measures are probably necessary but they’ve got to find a better way to implement them.

There was warning given before Christmas that the can limit was being reduced and that recycling pickup was being increased. But they didn’t say anything about the volume that would be allowed in the one can.

It’s probably because that volume limit is actually not new. It’s always been there but never really enforced. This new policy provided an opportunity to enforce the rule.

It’s also come to light that there may be some circumstances that warrant an exception. So, now the city is implementing a grace period to allow people to adapt. But the city will say that they gave fair warning before Christmas. That warning wasn’t thorough enough. It hadn’t taken into account the enforcement of the volume limit. That was an oversight. The city’s got to find a way to finesse these things a little better. A more effective communication strategy is needed on these changes.

Now, having said all that, I support the changes to the garbage can limits. This community has outgrown its garbage dump but beyond that, society has outgrown the idea that garbage is just something to dump in a hole in the ground somewhere. The letter to the editor above addresses this issue well but I have to say I’ve been shocked by the reluctance to understand that we can’t just toss stuff away any more.

There was one comment on our website that, frankly, disgusted me. Are people still so lost on this issue?

“Quadibloc” said: “Instead of making such restrictions, the city should simply have found a new landfill site, and not bothered the citizens of the community in this fashion.”

He/she continues: “It is not as if Canada is overcrowded.” And the astonishing conclusion: “There is an immense amount of space not used for mining, farming, or forestry in the North-West (sic) Territories, for example.”

What !?! There’s a large amount of space not being used for mining, farming or forestry in the Northwest Territories so we can just dump our garbage there!?!

How many people in the community actually think like this? Not many, I hope. Please tell me this is just an Internet “troll” deliberately trying to provoke a rise out of me. I’m sorry but I want to keep places like the Northwest Territories free of garbage.

So, people, the point here is to reduce your garbage. Recycle it. Compost it. Then, throw out what’s left and feel guilty that you’ve failed to find a way to deal with that much garbage.