Today’s letters: Trashy complications and the heatwave’s ugly reminder
When did trash become so complicated?
We’re part of the problem. Some years ago, my wife and I were wide-eyed believers, eager to embrace blue-boxes and black-boxes and green-bins. But it wasn’t long before reality set in, and it hasn’t left.
We would put everything organic from our house into the green bin, until maggots came, all through the warm months. So now we still put vegetable matter, takeout boxes, etc. in the bin, but bloody anything and bones and gristle and animal fat, and oil from canned fish are frozen until garbage day, when they go into a garbage bag. If the city implements clear bags, I will carefully hide those organics in the middle of the bag.
I put a lot of glass and plastic containers into the blue bin along with tetra-paks, but at some point we decided that if it required more than some amount of hot water and scrubbing effort to clean a bottle, then it too was going in the garbage, not the recycle. Even before COVID, we preferred to buy salad makings at Costco, rather than pick through open bins of produce, pretending that using tongs instead of fingers was more sanitary. Sadly, Costco puts everything in clear plastic shells. Those go in the blue bin, if they have a triangle on them — we don’t care if the number in the triangle is not welcomed by the supposed recyclers.
The blue bin also gets virtually every other plastic, hard soft, or in between, except styrofoam and films. Not kosher to be so un-selective? Tough. If the city implements garbage-bag limits or purchased tags, fine, I will comply until the first time somebody else’s garbage “magically” appears at the end of my driveway overnight, or the first time my bag-tag gets stolen and my garbage gets refused. Then garbage will “magically” start appearing on city-hall steps.
At some point we just got fatigued with unexplained or poorly explained rules and exceptions, and stopped bothering to pay attention. We aren’t alone. It’s funny how other cities can burn waste and generate power from it, but we can’t figure it out.
Kevin McLauchlan, Ottawa
Heatwave was a reminder: Climate change is here
Between the hundreds of deaths related to record setting heatwaves and the uncontrolled wildfires, this summer has been a stark reminder that the health effects of climate change are not a “future us” problem, they are at our doorstep and they are only going to get worse.
As physicians, we are terrified for the health of Canadians and for our children’s futures. Climate change has to be the central election issue because at this point, a 4-year term could be the difference in whether our planet is habitable for our children or not.
The Liberals climate change plan is a start, but it does not go far enough. The PCs are even worse, recently rejecting the declaration that “climate change is real”. But if parties know it’s an issue that’s important to voters, maybe they will change their tunes. Voters need to put pressure on their candidates to have a science-based plan on how to address climate change before it is too late.
Dr. Brianna McKelvie
Dr. Tonja Stothart
Dr. Josdalyne Anderson, Ottawa
Tags: Costco – Today’s letters: Trashy complications and the heatwave’s ugly reminder