Tag Archives: garbage strike

Trash audit shows too much waste

Results of a waste audit show I need help
By Kris Scheuer

(Originally published Sept. 4 in Town Crier)
Column

I want to reduce my waste output.
It’s not currently realistic for me to produce zero garbage, but I wanted to examine what I’m throwing out to determine how I can lessen my contribution to landfill.
After the 39-day garbage strike, I promised to do my own waste audit and here’s what I found.
At home
I produced one-and-a-half grocery-size bags worth of trash between Aug. 3 to Sept. 3. This includes all trash in my bathroom, bedroom and kitchen garbage bins. But it doesn’t include anything tossed in the blue bin for recycling or organics placed in my green bin.
Bathroom waste
There was about a cantaloupe-sized amount of waste consisting of about 20 cotton swabs, dental floss, sanitary products and packaging, lots of tissues and a plastic foundation makeup tube.
How can I do better? If I had two garbage bins or a bin divided in two, I could use one side for non-organic waste like dental floss and the other for sanitary products (minus the packaging) and tissues that can go in the green bin. Continue reading

What I learned from city strike

We produce too much garbage, litter and packaging
I am doing my own waste audit to see how I can improve
By Kris Scheuer
(Column originally published in Town Crier Aug. 4)

Something stinks in the “state” of Toronto and it’s not just the garbage strike.
As a city hall reporter and lifelong Torontonian, here is my trash talk on garbage, litter and my top observations during the nearly six week labour unrest.
Number 1: we produce way too much waste, folks.
We deposited a total of 25,000 tonnes of waste in 26 temporary, neighbourhood garbage dumps, Geoff Rathbone, head of solid waste management told reporters on July 30.
Let’s think about that for a sec. The dumps opened June 25, some of them, such as Christie Pits, closed a mere 11 days later because they were at capacity. The amount of garbage we threw out at these dumps doesn’t even include the tonnes thrown out at seven waste transfer stations. Continue reading

The good, the bad and the smelly

Evidence from garbage strike is we still have long way to go in conservation quest
(Originally written July 17 by Kris Scheuer for Town Crier.)

Conservation and consumption.
There’s both good news and a shocking reality check when it comes to how much we conserve and consume in Toronto.
We are becoming more aware of ways we can cut back on our use of everything from energy to plastic bags.
But on the other hand, the garbage strike that hit the city at midnight June 22 made it oh so obvious that we are still producing far too much waste.
While it’s true that as the clock struck midnight, it had been two weeks since the last regularly scheduled garbage pickup for some folks, there were already reports of people illegally dumping waste in parks like Christie Pits on day 1 of the strike.
Continue reading