Jan. 20, 2005

I'm the Bin Man

Not another play on Osama Ben Laden and not another arctic adventure: just a trivial domestic observation. (Although it occurs to me that I have several more arctic stories to relate. Ask me about shotguns...)

Today was garbage day on my street. Between a variety of municipal garbage initiatives I now have seven bins to place garbage into and a rather complicated two week cycle of pickup dates.

In the kitchen:
  • Under-counter old skool garbage bin.
  • Top-of-counter compost bin.
  • Small Green Bin for other organic waste
On the front porch:
  • Blue Bin for glass, metal, some plastics.
  • Grey Bin for paper recyclables. Both collected every two weeks.
Behind the house:
  • Old-skool garbage bin (collected alternate weeks).
  • Big Green Bin to hold the organics when they're too smelly for the kitchen and picked up every week.
  • And I guess my garden composter makes eight.
The Green Bin part of the program has only recently kicked in, and the poor garbage men are having a tough time keeping their old schedules. In the old days my pick-up would happen around 9:00 AM. Now sometimes they don't arrive until well after dark! I hope they're making good money...

Why the big push? Our local landfill sites are effectively full, and getting a new landfill approved is nearly impossible. At the moment Toronto's garbage is being shipped 500 miles across the border into a US landfill in Michigan. So diverting garbage from this expensive and possibly short-lived destination is becoming a municipal obsession. And it's good for mother nature.

Every little bit helps, so I've become a dedicated sorter of rubbish, look for low-waste packaging and other such choices. I actually only drag my various bins to the curb once a month, and even then they are often not very full.


  1. Yo! Captain! Back up the garbage truck!

    Let me see if I understand this correctly: You make fun of us 'Merican's, poke at our President and scoff at our policies and yet you dump your trash in Michigan?!?!?

    Doooooooooode, that is sooo not right. Dig a hole and dump yer effin' trash in your own backyard, bro.

    You Canadians. Sheesh.

    Of course, you knew I'd say that. :D

  2. What Tina said...

    I also have to give you two green thumbs up for sorting your garbage, if more would do it, the problem wouldn't be so big. Good luck with that though! Every big counts.

    Nice work! Don't lose track of your bins.

  3. Tina, that is the funniest thing!! I can't stop laughing.

  4. Awww....no worries Amanda. I luvs me some Ben even when I talk trash. ;)

  5. Mary: Is it the fumes that makes your head spin? Or my manly prose.
    Tina: The problem is that no-one wants a new hole near them, and there was this big cheap one in Michigan... I agree it's a bad solution, but don't "blame Canada" if an American business wants to make a quick buck.
    Lizabeth: Thanks for dropping by and "greening" me!
    Amanda: Thanks for defending me! :-) Tina heart is in the right place though, so it's OK...

  6. So, lemme get this straight: There's a big, cheap hole in my lovely home state of Michigan? And as if just having a big, cheap hole isn't bad enough, Canadians' garbage is being deposited there? Is this payback for all the obnoxious 19- and 20-year-old Michiganders who make liquor runs for the border on a regular basis? Oh, Windsor, what a paradise you are for the underage who don't have good fake IDs ... : )

  7. l.a.h.: First of all, I'm not even going to suggest that Michigan is a big cheap hole. Secondly, I have tremendous sympathy of young Michiganders seeking a manlier brew. Thirdly... I got nuthin'. Sorry? :-)

  8. Whew, I'm glad you have sympathy for them, since I was one of those obnoxious people not so very long ago. : ) For spring break my freshman year of college, a few of my girlfriends and I were short on money, so instead of Florida, we went to ... Toronto. We tried very, very hard to pretend it was Daytona, short of stripping down to our bikinis, since it was way too damn cold for that. Actually, we had a really fun time. We went to some bar called the Loose Moose. I'm sure there's a very good chance that bar actually sucks, but for a bunch of underage Americans, it was heaven on earth.

    By the way, I want to hear more of your arctic stories! So, since I don't think anyone else has, I'm asking about shotguns.

  9. l.a.h.: The Loose Moose? Party! Toronto might have been chilly, but I'm glad you had a good time. But what's the deal with you Americans and your gun fetishes? OK, I'll post the shotgun story tomorrow...

  10. Yeah, the Loose Moose! It was totally Girls Gone Wild Hits Canada! : ) Nah, I'm just kidding. But now that I think about it, that's a pretty funny and fitting name, under the circumstances.