Tag Archives: litter

Toronto a day in the life 13

Are Torontonians rude?
Is it the consequence of living in the big city
What is making us so indifferent to people around us?
By Kris Scheuer

An extreme example of litter during '09 T.O summer strike. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

I am a born and bred Toronto resident who’s called this beloved city home for all my 40 years.
But really people, are we getting ruder?
I am not perfect, by all means, but I TRY to be considerate of others. And I find examples of people in this city who seem so very oblivious to others who share this same public space.
Case in point, and this is something I witness almost daily, littering. I see people tossing items from their hands in such a blatant way that it goes beyond not being able to find a trash can. It’s as if people are making a statement, “I don’t care about the city, environment or anyone around me.”
On Friday afternoon I was on a lunch break and was on the southwest corner of Yonge and Dundas on my way to city hall south.
As I approached the mall, I saw two 20-something women walking towards me when one tossed a water bottle towards the Eaton’s Centre (now Sears).
I thought maybe she was aiming for a garbage can, but missed. As the plastic bottle hit the side of the H&M clothing store, I saw that no there was no garbage can. She never intended for it to end up anywhere but the street. And she did not even offer a backward glance to see where her discarded item landed. Continue reading

Toronto a day in the life 1

What I learned about this city today

By Kris Scheuer

Here’s four things I heard, was told, learnt about this city and Torontonians in 24 hours. It’s day 11 of the strike, so some of my observations are influenced by this. Read, then tell me what did you learn about life in the big city today?
1. Bus drivers have bad days too. My female driver on Dufferin 29 bus this morning was honking at cars, went past people’s stops when they rang the bell, took off before all the passengers got off at a bus stop. She told a tow truck driver in the next lane she was having a bad day.
2. No news isn’t necessarily good news. City did not hold its regular press conference today on the strike. City officials didn’t officially meet with the union June 30 or July 1, so I was told there was nothing new to report. However, the city’s medical officer of health did hold a last minute press conference, announced at 3:30 for 4 pm, on health concerns regarding the local, temporary dumps set up in parks like Christie Pits. Click here to read what he said.
3. Litter isn’t being picked up during the strike. Okay so this may be obvious during a garbage strike, but I noticed a half a dozen newspapers of several hundred pages scattered around College and Manning this morning and tonight they were all still there.
4. City council business is shut down.  Today the city announced next week’s city council session of July 6-7 has been cancelled. Over 100 items were to be decided on at that meeting but debate will be postponed until whenever the strike is over.

Toronto strike impact

How is the strike affecting you?
By Kris Scheuer
It’s day six of the strike and garbage is piling up in the streets, city waste transfer stations and 19 temporary dumps located near parks such as Christie Pits and beaches like Sunnyside.
Parents are having to find alternative arrangements as all city-run daycare is shut down.
City-run camps and recreation programs and community centres are a not open. And there’s no water testing at Toronto’s 11-designated beaches.
Check out the city’s website to see a full list of services affected by this labour disruption. Then tell me what service has impacted you the most since the strike began June 22?
As well, for articles on how this situation is playing out in TO’s communities please check out online coverage at the paper I work for the Town Crier.

Stop littering Toronto’s streets

An argument against trashing the city
By Kris Scheuer

Want to make the planet a greener, cleaner place?
It’s easy.
We need to stop littering. Litter doesn’t just look bad, it’s costing city taxpayers millions a year to clean up and it’s an environmental hazard.
On Jan. 31, I was reminded about this problem twice. On my parents’ downtown Toronto street I saw a hand drawn poster on a pole with a picture of the planet.
In a child’s writing it said, “Save the World. You can start by not littering”.
Earlier that day, on the CBC radio show GO, David Suzuki and three grade 12 students from University of Toronto Schools spent the morning tackling some of the earth’s biggest eco challenges. The largest one they tried to solve was how to clean up the centre of the Pacific Ocean’s plastic garbage patch, a mess the show said was at least twice the size of the state of Texas.
Some floating plastic is broken into smaller pieces and mistaken for food by wildlife who can die by eating too much of this indigestible litter. The students on the show suggested setting up ahuge floating recycling station to clean up the litter and then setting up stiffer penalties for polluting. Continue reading