Posts Tagged ‘reduce’

Rain Barrels Get Some LFP Attention

August 30, 2008

During the last municipal election campaign in London, our daily newspaper ignored the part of my platform which advocated the use of rain barrels. Actually, the LFP ignored my campaign completely 😦

It was nice to see this deserving subject receive some press in today’s newspaper (“Recycle water by using rain barrels”) even if it was only a news service filler story.

Better late than never, or so they say.

Other Links:
2006 Fowler Election Platform – Rain Barrels
2007/07/28 – FMBS: Hamilton rain barrels
2007/12/08 – FMBS: Wastewater tax increase

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


W3 Review – Lower Footprint

February 26, 2008

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Here’s a recent pleasant discovery… Mateo is a fellow on Canada’s east coast who’s blogging about the experience of trying to reduce his ecological footprint this year.


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.


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.


Open-Air Clothes Drying

December 9, 2007

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On this week’s Planning Committee meeting agenda, a written submission titled “Use of Restrictive Covenants to Limit and/or Prohibit the Use of Clotheslines and Umbrella Clothes Dryers Within the City of London.”

My take on this issue? There ought to be a clothesline or umbrella dryer in every London yard. And the property owner ought to be able to choose which one to employ. Full stop.

Fast-Food Waste

December 9, 2007

A Torontoist sketch.

Saying ‘No’ to Montreal Parking Spots

December 8, 2007

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Private automobile use is said to be outpacing Montreal’s population growth by a multiple of at least 3.

Speeding on residential streets has become an increased problem as drivers use them as shortcuts and/or in order to avoid main arteries.

Representing approx. 42 community groups and at least 10,000 Montrealers, the Coalition for the Reduction of Montreal Traffic is trying to make it more difficult for people to bring cars into the city by advocating for a reduction in the number of all-day parking spots.

As is happening in many urban centres, calls are being heard for the creation of an environment that encourages alternate transportation modes like walking and biking. And “an increase in the frequency, reach, comfort and reliability of public transit.”

2007/12/07 – Gazette: Clamp down on cars, coalition urges city
2007/12/07 – SpacingMontreal: Community groups want…

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.

3 x 23 kg. containers (MAX). Extra containers get an “oops” tag and are left at the curb.

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

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.

Library Service Reduction

February 17, 2007

As I mentioned yesterday, the 2nd-floor central library’s entrance to the Galleria Mall has been arbitrarily closed to patrons.A significant convenience, it was deprived without the library’s customary fanfare and without any prior public consultation.

Here is the explanation which I have now received from Nancy Ward (Manager, Public Services) :

The Library is aware that the closure of the second floor entrance will be inconvenient for some of our customers. This was a tough decision and was based on an analysis of many factors. I will try to explain why we feel that this is a decision that will benefit our service.

Security: Security of patrons, collections and staff will be enhanced by having one service point on the main floor. This will enable our security staff to be able to monitor the entrance effectively and efficiently.

Main Floor Revitalization: The Library is in the process of major changes to our first floor. We envision more displays, popular collections and high demand items in this area. This will make a very inviting place to visit. In order to provide more assistance to customers on the first floor we are concentrating our staff resources at one entrance.

Service Efficiency: Holds, self check units and customer service staff will all be concentrated in one service area. This is a more efficient use of staff resources given the much lower usage of the second floor. In addition, it will provide more opportunity for staff to provide customer service at the desk.

I hope that this outline of our reasons for deciding to close the second floor service point will answer your question. The Library also hopes that you will find the new first floor area well worth visiting.

Click here if you wish to find out who is responsible for this service reduction and how to contact them.