Sunday, February 04, 2018

Garbage on a Finite Planet


My building doesn't have recycling.

I know. A bald statement of fact.

But seriously. Think about it. As I have.

Us residents? Well we range in age from 65-100+.

And there's also no garbage chute.

What we generate, rubbish wise, we have to cart forth to one of several commercial dumpsters scattered at the edges of many parking lots around our building which is a 2 storey sprawled hither and yon. A building from a former US army base plus its attendant buildings (school, hospital, houses, apartment buildings)was sprawled lavishly over many hills overlooking lake, harbour and nearby battlements in WW2.

For several decades now I've been used to recycling. Particularly in Toronto where even kitchen waste was separated along with glass, plastic, metal and paper.

I order online a lot, to prevent stress and strain from carting heavy and awkward cans and toilet paper and flour and oatmeal from parking lot to second floor apartment.

So my cardboard, packing material, boxes, empties, etc. all go to the dumpster, which in turn is emptied into landfills which makes me feel ill. It all feels so wrong.

Every week I generate a huge garbage bag, place it on a small luggage trolley, take it to my car and then drive the car around to one of the dumpsters and throw this bag into it. With effort. The lid is chained and heavy to lift. Not senior/disabled friendly by any means. Most older seniors here have home help. These helpers, mainly in their forties/fifties, cart their employers' garbage down and out.

I've asked management about this but receive a puzzled shrug. My lively friend on the first floor, my own age, has offered to take mine down if it's a problem for me but no, I don't want to burden her unnecessarily and it's not really about carting it down but the fact we don't have any recycling and no plans to implement it.

I can't to get used to it.

Living on an island as I do.

*update*

To be clear here: most of the island has recycling, including the small village where I lived. All of St. John's has recycling but not this apartment building. I'm not sure about others.

15 comments:

  1. I had cut down and folded boxes and cartons to go into recycle only to have my "helpers" heave them into the main dumpster...Like you, I was much aggrieved but since I could not do it myself, had to make peace with it.

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  2. There is a new project for you to tackle.

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    1. Just what I was thinking. "She'll change all that once she gets settled in." -Kate

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  3. It's surprising there's no re-cycling there. I guess your geographical location might make it less profitable - there has always to be lots of $$$$$$$$$ coming back to the owners of a re-cycling plant! Even here in backward Oklahoma we have re-cycling (paper, plastics, glass, aluminum, cans) via a large separate bin, collected every 2nd week. It has worked well for some 5 or 6 years. I guess there's money to be made, somehow, though probably not if there's no easy transport from source to eventual re-cycling plant. I can imagine how frustrating it must feel !

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  4. I am gobsmacked. What do they do with it all? All those pristine ads, "Come to Newfoundland". They must just aim the cameras away from the tip. But be careful - those lids could break an arm, or fall in the parking lot. I'd be raising a ruckus with someone. One of you could get hurt. I'm nursing a husband with a broken hip and femur, and it's slow going when you're on the downslide toward 80. He was lucky, my Mom broke her hip at his age and died a few days later.

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    1. Sadly, the news recently showed the ocean floor all around Newfoundland is littered with garbage ... old toilets, plastic, you name it. WWW will have to get that fixed too. Eh? LOL. Just teasing WWW, but I do see you as someone who gets things done! -Kate

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  5. It's law in California to have recycling. We have those refundable fees on all bottles and jars of products that one can turn back in and get a refund. Most of us just put them in our recycle bins. We have a garbage can, a green waste bin, and the recycle bin. I'm assuming those who live in apartments have those same delineations.

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  6. Understand and I do not know what I would do without ordering online which is a new way for me.
    In this place I take to a laundry room, if too bulky sit outside my door.
    Today I miss the country and wonder what in the world am I doing here and then I know - it is Winter and near my girls. So will see in another month what I decide and has to be the right decision...

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  7. Oh dear, I updated the blog to show that of course there is recycling everywhere but maybe apartment buildings are exempt or maybe senior buildings are, I must check that out.

    XO
    WWW

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  8. I find that very odd. Particularly when almost all of your residents are senior citizens. Why would they exempt apartment buildings or senior citizen buildings?

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  9. I totally sympathise. I'm also used to comprehensive recycling, so moving somewhere without it would be quite upsetting. You'd think they would be recycling-conscious in this age of prodigious waste. A puzzled shrug is pretty dumb.

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  10. My original comment has vanished (unless it's being moderated). It was something on the lines of sympathising with your predicament. I'm also very used to recycling everything and suddenly not being able to would be quite upsetting and frustrating.

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  11. Oh that would kill me. I'm thankful our city picks up recycling.

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  12. LOL everyone, I'm lining up projects to address at the mo so this is on the list to address with city council but I'd like to clear it with the board here first, not to tread on toes or re-invent the wheel.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. When we moved from our wee lakeside community in BC to the Calgary condo in 2011 there was no recycling for condo or apt buildings. I got on the board and got a "Free-cycling Centre" set up on the main floor, so if I have something clean, gently used, still useful that I don't need or want anymore I can put it on the Free-cycle shelves. Stuff of all kinds flies through there. And we have a library, where books, magazines, CDs and DVDs come and go. Management wouldn't bring in recycling in 2011, but the City mandated it in 2013, and added organics last November. 'Bout time!

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