Saturday, September 16, 2006

Giant Blue Coming to You Toronto

The Toronto Star gleefully announces "Big blue to the rescue" today. Apparently, Toronto is going to test in "central Toronto" giant blue boxes on wheels that the garbage trucks will be able to pick up, dump, and put back down. And I'm supposed to be strong enough to haul that sucker down stairs and onto the curb? Kill me now.

Apparently, the current boxes are too small to hold all the recyclable products, and so the overflow goes into green garbage bags and on down 401 to Michigan. How the heck do people get away with that? I have a new kid on the block, a real union worker, as a former unionist described my new solid waste managment collector, one who will not pick up the bags, even one, unless they're in a bin, nor the blue and grey boxes unless they're fully on the curb, no trying to squeeze a corner onto private property so as to leave room for pedestrians to pass. The cirty has warned us not to try to sneak recyclables into our green garbage bags, else they won't be picked up, yet apparently the current blue boxes are so inadequate, this happens all the time...with no penalty to the transgressors. (Which, to be clear, is fine by me as I think our whole garbage situation is an insane mess.)

This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the city only picks up the boxes once every two weeks. So instead of going with the old-fashioned logical solution -- increase frequency of pick up to, oh I don't know, once a week, twice a week like in the old days -- they go with the more convoluted idea of new boxes and new trucks (I assume the current ones couldn't do the job, heck they can't even get cardboard in them unless the Jolly Green Giant downsizes them to letter size first.)

So I'm wondering, between giant blue boxes probably about a metre tall and half a sidewalk wide, slightly smaller green bins, and Christmas trees in winter, where are pedestrians supposed to walk on garbage day, especially after the collectors have been by? Do we work on our balance by walking along the tops of the snowbanks or chance it on the roads? Or is the idea that we're not supposed to use the sidewalks during the day as we're all supposed to be snug in our cubicles downtown? Whatever the city assumes about our sidewalk habits, I for one am ruing the day the province amalgamated us as I cannot even escape from Toronto to a close-by municipality like the former North York in order to restore peace in the household on garbage day. I'd have to move a long way away, too far away from a city I love -- except for the politicians and their insanities.

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