Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

Zero waste goal hard to realize

Avid Toronto recyclers inspire my goal to throw out no trash

Kris Scheuer
(Originally written  January 31/07)

What if the city’s garbage trucks pulled up to our houses and found all the trash cans empty?
While this situation is unlikely to be realized at any point in the near or even distant future, at least two families are attempting to get to the point where they are throwing out zero garbage. The Town Crier has featured attempts by Beach resident Karen Buck to get her family to produce no trash. They now throw out only about five or six garbage bags in a 12-month period.
She is diligent. She tries to buy clothes that have biodegradable fibres and products that can be repaired, and to donate used products to Goodwill. She also keeps separate containers (for blue and green bins) throughout the house so nothing recyclable gets mixed in with regular trash.
Another couple, Sarah McGaughey and Kyle Glover, are attempting to throw out no more than one small shopping bag of waste every two weeks, but want to reduce this to zero waste. Click here to find out more about the Oakwood and St. Clair area couple’s process.
These families inspired me to give zero waste a try. I decided to conduct a test and report my discoveries here, but with the deadline looming I had only two days to do a trial.

Continue reading

Toronto-residents-not-recycling-enough

The shocking truth about what many of us are throwing out — and shouldn’t be

By Kris Scheuer and Sandie Benitah
(Originally written for Town Crier Jan 19/06)

Toronto has too much garbage and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
That’s if a
Town Crier sampling of garbage bags taken from many neighbourhoods across the city is typical of what’s out there. 
The results are shocking. 
Ab
out 80 percent of what we found in the 14 bags (we dug through over 100 bags for a series of stories) was waste that could have easily been recycled if people used their green and blue bins as they’re supposed to.  
We’re talking scrap paper, pop cans, food, diapers — you name it — and with each bag we opened, the city’s
garbage situation seemed to get more and more dire. 
According to city statistics, Toronto sends ab
out 975,000 tons of waste each year to Michigan landfills — that’s enough garbage to fill the Roger’s Centre to the top of its retractable roof.  
The city is making an effort to crack down. Come this April, residents across the city will only be allowed to put
out five bags of garbage every two weeks. But from the looks of it, some of us won’t be ready. Continue reading