Flashback: Toronto’s New Garbage Tracking Bins Delayed for Many | Toronto Mayor delays garbage tax grab for twelve months | Garbage bin fee hike possible before new RFID bins even hit the kerb | Turning Toronto into a nanny state | Toronto Residents Furious Over RFID Garbage Bins | The monster (blue bin) that ate downtown
Allison Hanes, National Post
April 17, 2009
Toronto will soon be refusing to pick up the overflow bottles, cans and newspapers that don’t fit in the city’s new recycling bins — the latest in a series of changes to the curb-side collection program that require the cooperation of befuddled residents.
Bags of pop cans, bales of newspaper and flattened boxes left on the curb are no longer being picked up in east-end neighbourhoods as of two weeks ago, said Rob Orpin, director of collections for Toronto’s Solid Waste Management department.
Nor is material sticking out of the blue bin that prevents the lid from shutting. [Ed. note: Oh noes!]
“When you have materials that aren’t inside the blue bin, especially in an automated system, as the truck grabs it, the stuff spills out all over the place,” Mr. Orpin said. “It makes the city look like a mess.”
Excess materials are being tagged with yellow stickers to remind the public about the new rules for recycling — all part of the mass reeducation campaign that has accompanied Toronto’s expansion of its recycling and composting programs, introduction of user fees for garbage disposal based on four sizes of new trash bin and turn to machine-based collection.
But while many of the changes have been aimed at getting Torontonians to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill — like requiring them to pay more for having a bigger garbage can and buy tags for bags that don’t fit inside — Mr. Orpin said the latest measures are not meant to discourage recycling.
“Our goal is to encourage people to recycle. We want to make it easier for people to recycle,” he said. “There is never, ever a limit put on the amount of recycling a house or a person could put out.”
Still, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East) said the message is the city is making things more difficult for the most avid recyclers.
“I’ve already heard from a few of my residents. They think it’s completely stupid,” he said. “We’re saying no to recyclers and we’re making it even harder for them to participate… I suppose it’s because it’s took much work for the garbage collectors to get out of their truck.”
Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Scaborough Centre), chair of the city committee in charge of many of the waste collection changes, said the purpose of going to automated collection is to save time and money. He said only one worker is needed per truck and it reduces the amount of time lost due to strain injuries caused by repetitive heavy lifting.
“We can save about $5-million a year by being 10% more efficient,” Mr. De Baeremaeker said.
While some households have had their bins since 2007, the grace period for compliance with the new program is fast coming to an end.
Mr. Orpin said in Scarborough, where the new rules are already in effect, the non-compliance rate is about 10%.
“People have not selected the proper bin, or people have not taken the couple of minutes to ensure that material is in the bin, like breaking down a cardboard box for example,” he said.
People who chose a bin that’s too small can trade up for a larger one free of charge, he said. They can even have two bins — both extra large — if they want, at no extra cost.
The next lesson to teach the public: to leave space between all the bins lined up on the curb so that the giant arm can reach in without knocking them all over.
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