Changes to garbage day. Let the campaign begin. 

garbage bins for recycling and organic waste

“When is garbage day?” I remember my mom asking a new friend of mine when I was a kid moving into a new house and neighbourhood.

“I don’t know”, he said, “just put your garbage out when you see everyone else doing it”.

That is the wisdom of kids.

Simple solutions.

No problem.

Just do what everyone else is doing.


So you might not yet have heard that there will be some changes coming to our trash collection schedule. (You might not hear at all, despite the public education campaign if you are like most people.)

Starting in the Spring of next year, garbage will be picked up every other week. A lot of cities do this already. We’ve had it good. We’ve been wasteful, no pun intended. We are behind the curve on this one.

Green bins, which use has not been embraced by the majority of Waterloo Region residents will be picked up weekly, as will blue bins. In case you don’t know, the green bins are for organic waste and the blue bins are for recyclable items like plastic, metal, cardboard and paper.

There is nothing very difficult about this. There is nothing very hard about this at all but convincing the people that it is a good thing for the environment, and for our soon to be at capacity landfill. Residents should know that it will save us money, but people don’t like change.

Sure it is a little confusing remembering if you are suppose to put your garbage out this week or next and sometimes mistakes will get made.

Who cares?

So you have to bring it back up the driveway.

Big deal.

The region is spending $800,000 over the next year educate us of the changes. That seems high but in a related story, my municipal taxes are going up 3% next year.


Green bins

garbage bins for recycling and organic wasteI hope this campaign will also aim to convince and convert us to use the green bins.

Personally, I was mostly guilted into adopting the use of our green bin when they first came out. My neighbour asked why I wasn’t using it. Honestly, it just arrived and I wasn’t sure what it was all about and I told him this. He schooled me. We’ve been using it ever since.

This new move by The Region of Waterloo will likely lead to higher adoption of the green bins. I wonder how many people still have theirs? I wonder how much money was spent on that campaign? I wonder if people have to buy a new one or if they can pick one up for free? As you can see, I think green bins are central to the trash issue. Hey region, maybe you could save most of that $800,000 from the advertising budget for a big shipment of discounted green bins.


Public shaming and militant garbage collectors

In BC, where my mom and sisters live, the garbagemen are downright militant. If they don’t like the look of your garbage, if you have put out too much garbage, if you haven’t sorted your recycling to their liking, or have included something  in it that shouldn’t be included, you are going to find that on your lawn. They are like sniffer dogs. I know. I’ve tried to cheat and I got caught, more than once.

In Japan, I hear they use see-thru garbage bags so your neighbours can see if you are chucking out stuff that can be recycled.

I have to complain. This public education campaign about garbage is kind of a waste of money. Garbage begins at home. We will figure it out in the old fashion way, in a tribal way, and in a way of trail and error.

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