Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Rubber Sidewalks?

April 5, 2008

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“There are rubber balls to bounce, rubber galoshes to keep your feet dry and rubber gloves for the nasty cleaning chores. Now, in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood and in a growing number of cities around the country, there are rubber sidewalks.” 01

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Earth Hour 2008

March 31, 2008

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Noting that “most United States newspapers did not play up Earth Hour” and that the Canadian papers which were reviewed “previewed Earth Hour a lot more prominently” and “dominated with Earth Hour pictures,” David Gough asks, why did Earth Hour have a larger profile in Ontario? 01

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Another Kick at the Foam

March 6, 2008

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In my last post about polystyrene I told you about the closure of the Mississauga recycling facility. 01

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Recycling to the Bank?

January 24, 2008

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As I pointed out HERE last month, London is currently consulting the community about waste management (if you haven’t already done so, click HERE and complete the online survey; speak now, or don’t complain later). So perhaps that’s why this story virtually jumped off the screen at me when I came across it. It seems that down Philadelphia way, they’ve got a program that pays households to recycle!

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Recycling Polystyrene Foam

January 21, 2008

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Styrofoam™ is a brand name for Dow insulation and the common name for all forms of polystyrene. The fact that it’s lightweight and cheap to produce makes it popular with manufacturers. But polystyrene is a landfill nightmare because of it’s initial bulk and the very long time that it takes to decompose. Also the fact that when it finally does break up it does so into pieces small enough to be ingested by birds and subsequently kill them via starvation.

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Community Consultation re Waste Management

December 23, 2007

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“The broad field of waste management is a complex discipline that includes, but is not limited to, environmental protection, public education, waste reduction, recycling, composting, garbage collection, landfill construction and maintenance, data gathering and analysis, government regulation, and public relations. For municipal governments it requires staff that is continually learning new strategies, complying with government regulations and adapting and advancing techniques of waste diversion, collection and disposal. In London, the program is referred to as the Continuous Improvement System.” 01

Now, the City of London wants your opinion. You are being asked to read it’s just-released consultative ‘Road Map to Maximize Waste Diversion in London‘ report, that “outlines and explains a number of options the City has compiled and/or developed to help Londoners achieve higher diversion rates,” and to complete/submit a questionaire/comments form that it contains.

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Fast-Food Waste

December 9, 2007

A Torontoist sketch.
comic

Exporting Our e-Waste Problem

December 8, 2007

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Although “the environmental and human health costs” of unregulated handling of e-waste “are huge,” many Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions “are caught in a ‘secret cycle’ ” of unsafe disposal that often includes meagerly-paid workers in “China… India and some African nations” (“Chipping Up Computers“; Hilary Feldman; AboutMyPlanet; 2007/12/02).

Links:
2006/12/19 – AMP: Many “Recycled” Computers Go To Digital Dump

Zero-Waste Public Events

December 7, 2007

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A delegation representing TREA, Waste Free World and Home County appeared at the 2007/11/26 ETC meeting along with this written submission about reducing the volume of waste at all downtown special events.

ETC directed that recycling receptacles be installed “in all City-owned and managed facilities by June, 2008.”

So far, so good.

The matter of waste elimination was referred to administration “to report back on the viability of conducting a pilot project to commence in 2008, with appropriate resources and finances, and the requirement for an evaluation report once the pilot project is completed.”

Seems pretty obvious to me that the pilot project is viable. The devil’s always in the details. We’ll have to keep our eyes on this to make sure it gets a fair chance to prove it’s worth.

Hamilton’s New Garbage Limits

November 30, 2007

It’s more confusing than it has to be. It will take a lot longer to put in place than is necessary. But despite all that, Hamilton’s new policy on garbage pickup is going in the right direction, and puts London’s 4-bag system to shame.

2008/03/31-
2009/03/28
3 x 23 kg. containers (MAX). Extra containers get an “oops” tag and are left at the curb.


2009/03/30-
2010/04/03
2 x 23 kg. containers (MAX); one must be a clear bag for non-recyclables and non-organics ONLY (if it contains anything else it will be tagged and left behind). Extra containers get an “oops” tag and are left at the curb.


2010/04/05- 1 x 23 kg. container ONLY. Extra containers will be left behind.


Exemptions Special consideration for households with more than three children under five years old to allow for diapers.

Special consideration for residents with medical conditions.

3 x 3-container days (following Victoria Day, Thanksgiving and New Year’s).


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Links:
2007/11/17 – FMBS: Proposed Hamilton Garbage Limit
2007/11/17 – Spectator: What did we just do?

Making a Difference, One Cup at a Time

November 28, 2007

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paper cup graphicThrow it on the compost pile and it breaks down and nourishes life. International Paper’s coffee cup, the Ecotainer, is also cost-competitive with regular cups. Why is your local coffee shop not using them?” (‘We Can Be Garbage Free‘; The Tyee; 2007/11/28)

Links:
International Paper: ecotainer™ FAQ

Proposed Hamilton Garbage Limit

November 17, 2007

Something that may be of interest, especially to those who like to gripe about London’s 4 x 20kg garbage container limit…

Staff at Hamilton’s City Hall are recommending the imposition of a one-bag or one-can-a-week garbage limit starting in March (“City aims for one-bag garbage limit in ’08“; Eric McGuinness; Hamilton Spectator; 2007/11/17).

Hamilton has set a target of trying to divert 65% of household waste into blue boxes and green carts instead of garbage bags by 2008, but only managed about 40% last year.

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Links:
2007/11/20 – Hamilton Spec: Big stink brewing…
2007/11/20 – Hamilton Spec: One bag limit? It’s essential
2007/11/22 – Hamilton Spec: It’s not that hard to limit garbage
2007/11/29 – Hamilton Spec: … two garbage bags, one to be clear

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.

BookCrossing Release – 2007/05/10

May 10, 2007
cover pic  
Title: Digital Dead
Location: LTC #2
To learn more, click here.

Update:
This release has been caught! 🙂 Read more HERE.