Posts Tagged ‘disposal’

Tasty Bug Pellets – a Plastics Solution?

January 4, 2008

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Landfills continuously receive millions of tons of plastic that can take hundreds of years to break down. But increasing public awareness and criticism about the impact that we’re having upon our planet, seems to be influencing some positive corporate response.

(more…)

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Timmy Environmentalism

August 26, 2007

In Save 40 Bucks a Year at Tim Hortons (London Commons; 2007/08/24), Annmarie decries disposable paper cups. And she’s right to do so. Discarded Timmy cups seem to be everywhere. They’re a frequent eyesore at LTC stops, even the relatively few locations that actually happen to have a waste receptacle (I won’t rant about the LTC benches with the built-in but sealed-up waste receptacles here… that merits it’s own future post).

Annmarie suggests that TH’s will reduce the cost of a coffee by 11 cents for those people who bring their own mug. But even if that’s true, should we jump to the conclusion that TH’s cares a hoot about our environment? Isn’t it equally possible that it’s simply a calculated, economic decision? By the time you figure in the purchase/replacement costs, handling/washing, etc. of cups and plates, isn’t it possible that TH’s simply figures that paper products costs the company less? After all, it isn’t as if TH’s has to pay the costs of dealing with discarded product once it leaves their stores. It isn’t as if London levies a tax on such things in order to recoup the cost of having to deal with TH mess.

 
Click on either image to enlarge.

Ever see one of these? If you’ve ever ordered one of their donuts or cookies, etc. then you’d have to be pretty quick not to. It’s as if all of their employees are trained to give you a paper product by default

And it makes no difference if you happen to be an in-store customer. It doesn’t usually even matter if you specifically tell them that your order is “for here” instead of “to go.” In my experience, it often doesn’t matter if you specifically tell them “I don’t need a bag.”

And of course, each of these orders is accompanied by up to a half-dozen paper napkins. It doesn’t matter that the bag may only contain a single item. It doesn’t matter that each customer table has a dispenser from which the customer can help themself to however many they may require (usually fewer, I’m guessing). It doesn’t matter if they’re used or not. Just toss them in the garbage on your way out.

I haven’t seen much evidence that the Tim Horton company cares about the environment. Oh sure, they spend some of their advertising bucks trying to convince you that they’re a good corporate citizen, but how often do you see any truth in advertising? By extolling you to “Respect the Environment” on the back of their bags, I suppose they’re hoping that you will jump to a conclusion that they care. But does that qualify as proof?

When Tim Horton’s starts to serve up everything on china, by default, and customers are required to specify paper in order to get products that way, then maybe I’ll be willing to consider whether or not they actually give a damn besides anything other than their bottom line.

Garbage Incineration

October 11, 2006

This summer, the government released proposed changes to the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act. The aim is to pave the way for pilot incineration projects that would last as long as five years, with up to 75 tonnes of garbage burned daily.”  1

Countries which are “more environmentally conscious 2 than Canada, “extensively 2 use technologies like modern incineration, plasma arc gasification, and energy generation from waste.

One of the things which bothers me about burning garbage is that such convenience supports “out of sight, out of mind” behaviour. If we can simply truck it away without even having to agonize about finding someplace to bury it, what prospect is there that we will ever curb our consumption habits?

Despite the claims of people who trumpet such practises, how safe is it exactly? Do we know with sufficient confidence that what is pumped out of them into the air will not “come back to bite us” in the future?

Consider all of the pesticides and other chemicals once thought to be safe, their use now regulated or banned because of new knowledge. Shouldn’t the precautionary principle be used here also?

While incineration might reduce the need for landfill space, critics argue the technology is unproven and will result in air pollution and cost more energy than it creates.”  1

Sources:

1. “Incinerator talk burns critics”; unidentified CP reporter; Toronto Sun; 2006/10/02

2. “City needs lasting solution on trash”; Michael Warren; Toronto Star; 2006/10/09

2006 Fowler Election Platform – Needle Disposal Bins

October 4, 2006

as originally posted on my Election Website

Some of what I’ve had to say in the past

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:47:05 -0500 (EST)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Failure to Communicate
To: “Sandy White”
CC: adecicco@london.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, John.Wilsons@corusent.com, newstalk1290today@cjbk.com

Sandy,

With respect to the issue of Needle Disposal Bins.

Since there’s been no response from Mr. Irwin at the Central Library, or from anyone at the London Middlesex Health Unit, or from Councillor Eagle, or from Councillor Tranquilli …

and as I’ve expressed to you before, this is terrible behaviour on the part of people who are paid out of the public purse…

Please visit my web blog and review my letters of 2006/01/07 which you will find in the “Library Services” archive.

Perhaps you are in a better position to make inquiries and to get answers than what I am.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Mr. Greg Fowler

email: fowgre@yahoo.ca
smail: 962 Eagle Crescent; London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7
Blog: ca.geocities.com/fowgre/
phone: (519) 649-0500

Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 07:51:27 -0500 (EST)
From: “Gregory Fowler”
Subject: Fwd: Info Request – Needle Disposal
To: igillespie@lfpress.com, jsher@lfpress.com
CC: bill.irwin@lpl.london.on.ca, health@mlhu.on.ca, seagle@london.ca, ftranqui@london.ca

Mr. Gillespie,

With respect to “the wisdom of placing needle dispenser bins in the washrooms at London’s Central Library on Dundas Street.”

I agree with you that nobody has a “right” to do drugs in the library. And I suppose I have some concern that the presence of dispenser bins might attract persons with serious drug addictions and behavioural problems to the library who otherwise would not be there.

My biggest concern though, is for the safety of library workers. And my presumption is that the bins will result in greater safety for those workers, even if they don’t resolve the problem of unsafe disposal in it’s entirety.

Your suggestion that “accommodating drug users is driving away legitimate patrons” would have been easier to accept if you had prefixed the word “patrons” with a qualifier, such as “some.” I am the organizer of the Forest City Backgammon Club, which conducts it’s meetings 6-9pm on Thursday evenings on the Central Library’s 3rd floor. Even after polling some of the membership on this issue, I have received no expressions of concern about the issue.

As a father and a grandfather, I think that your valid concern for the safety of children (“do you really want your children to visit a library where addicts are shooting up in the washroom?”) might better have been accompanied by a reminder that things like drug use, sexual predators, etc. are a larger societal problem than at this one location, and that children should never be left unattended in public washrooms.

Given my public advocacy over the past decade for increased budgets for police and other essential services, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the quote attributed to Mr. Irwin that “London police’s foot patrol officers regularly tour the library.”

I don’t believe that the police need to attend at the library regularly. But what concerns me about the quote is that many people will misinterpret “regularly” and come to the impression that the police are there (or anyplace else) frequently. And that will simply compound the folly of the notion that we can continue to exert pressure on the police budget without negative consequeces.

What interests me most about this issue, is whether or not the Library Board made it’s decision in isolation, or if it consulted with other community stakeholders first? Is there a broader approach to the problem of needle disposal, with leadership coming from Council and the Health Unit?

Some of what I’ve had to say in the past

Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:47:05 -0500 (EST)From: “Gregory Fowler”Subject: Failure to CommunicateTo: “Sandy White”CC: adecicco@london.ca, jsher@lfpress.com, pmcleod@thelondoner.ca, John.Wilsons@corusent.com, newstalk1290today@cjbk.com

Sandy,

With respect to the issue of Needle Disposal Bins.

Since there’s been no response from Mr. Irwin at the Central Library, or from anyone at the London Middlesex Health Unit, or from Councillor Eagle, or from Councillor Tranquilli …

and as I’ve expressed to you before, this is terrible behaviour on the part of people who are paid out of the public purse…

Please visit my web blog and review my letters of 2006/01/07 which you will find in the “Library Services” archive.

Perhaps you are in a better position to make inquiries and to get answers than what I am.

[snip]

Sincerely,

Mr. Greg Fowler

email: fowgre@yahoo.casmail: 962 Eagle Crescent; London, Ontario; N5Z 3H7Blog: ca.geocities.com/fowgre/phone: (519) 649-0500

Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 07:51:27 -0500 (EST)From: “Gregory Fowler”Subject: Fwd: Info Request – Needle DisposalTo: igillespie@lfpress.com, jsher@lfpress.comCC: bill.irwin@lpl.london.on.ca, health@mlhu.on.ca, seagle@london.ca, ftranqui@london.ca

Mr. Gillespie,

With respect to “the wisdom of placing needle dispenser bins in the washrooms at London’s Central Library on Dundas Street.”

I agree with you that nobody has a “right” to do drugs in the library. And I suppose I have some concern that the presence of dispenser bins might attract persons with serious drug addictions and behavioural problems to the library who otherwise would not be there.

My biggest concern though, is for the safety of library workers. And my presumption is that the bins will result in greater safety for those workers, even if they don’t resolve the problem of unsafe disposal in it’s entirety.

Your suggestion that “accommodating drug users is driving away legitimate patrons” would have been easier to accept if you had prefixed the word “patrons” with a qualifier, such as “some.” I am the organizer of the Forest City Backgammon Club, which conducts it’s meetings 6-9pm on Thursday evenings on the Central Library’s 3rd floor. Even after polling some of the membership on this issue, I have received no expressions of concern about the issue.

As a father and a grandfather, I think that your valid concern for the safety of children (“do you really want your children to visit a library where addicts are shooting up in the washroom?”) might better have been accompanied by a reminder that things like drug use, sexual predators, etc. are a larger societal problem than at this one location, and that children should never be left unattended in public washrooms.

Given my public advocacy over the past decade for increased budgets for police and other essential services, I’m a bit uncomfortable with the quote attributed to Mr. Irwin that “London police’s foot patrol officers regularly tour the library.”

I don’t believe that the police need to attend at the library regularly. But what concerns me about the quote is that many people will misinterpret “regularly” and come to the impression that the police are there (or anyplace else) frequently. And that will simply compound the folly of the notion that we can continue to exert pressure on the police budget without negative consequeces.

What interests me most about this issue, is whether or not the Library Board made it’s decision in isolation, or if it consulted with other community stakeholders first? Is there a broader approach to the problem of needle disposal, with leadership coming from Council and the Health Unit?