Mr Garbage: Bins Are More Esthetically Pleasing Than Sunny Porches, Flowers, and Lawns

CFTO evening news (oops early senior’s moment CTV Toronto News) did a story on the unsightly blue box tonight. Tom Hayes reported that since the blue bin program started 20 years ago, they’ve been increasing the amount of stuff that goes into the bin and so the bin had to grow. Um no. Here’s a thought: the frequency of pickup had to increase NOT decrease. The illogic of trying to get people to recycle more while decreasing frequency of pickup boggles my mind. But let’s continue.

As the person-on-the-street mentioned, she doesn’t even have to walk out her front door, she just has to look out her window, and there they are: big butt-ugly bins hogging the sidewalks and the visual line of sight. These bins are so big, they do not fit! As Hayes points out, they are changing the esthetics of the entire city. So much for aspiring to be once again Toronto the beautiful or the clean.

“I thought we cared what the city looks likes,” said the person on the street. Apparently not.

The fact that Councillors and city staff members actually thought that these bins would fit and not pose a safety hazard (more later) shows how utterly out of touch they are with the realities of city living when you can’t afford hired help and to rent storage areas. Or in Glenn De Baeremaeker’s case, be in love with garbage. After all, only someone who loves the sight and smells of garbage would actually come out with this stupid line:

“When we go to the garbage bin system, we’ll have a nice row lined up like soldiers of garbage bins, all basically the same shape size colour and function. It’ll be very efficient. And I think it’ll look actually better esthetically on most streets.”

And if you don’t like it, tough. “Get used to it,” he, Mr. Garbage, adds.

If you don’t believe me, that I quoted him exactly, check out the list of videos in the blue band on the mid-right side of the screen: Blue boxes an eyesore for some residents.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m fighting this Councillor’s arrogance. I looked out my window recently and saw the first line of soldiers hitting the sidewalks in my neighbourhood and wondered where I’d walk. You see, the bins take up half the sidewalk at least — and these are just the FIRST rollout, there is another set coming — which means I’m relegated to the edge of the sidewalk, not the safest place to be. In the winter between snow banks and bins, there would be nowhere to walk except the road…where the cars are.

But wait, it gets better. After the garbage men came through, flinging bins hither and thither, there was nowhere to walk. I could walk two steps, pick up bins, walk three steps, move bins, walk two steps, pick up bins, or I could walk on the road, keeping ears out for cars and get home in a timely manner. What about the poor mobility challenged? Finally the snow is gone, they can go out again, hurray. Oh but wait, it’s garbage day. Now the sidewalks are for bins, not humans, certainly not humans with canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters or buggies.

Get used to it, says Mr. Garbage. Get used to only being able to use our sidewalks 6 days out of 7; get used to having to use the roads as sidewalks in the winter time every garbage day; get used to a garbage esthetic because that is what Toronto is becoming unless you e-mail your Councillor and the Target70 team and tell them this is unacceptable. You won’t be alone. I understand the Target70 team can’t keep up with the irate calls from Torontonians to get rid of the butt-ugly bins and return to a saner method of pickup. Perhaps we should start flooding Mr. Garbage’s e-mail box too. After all, he should be at least half as harassed as we are with this new insane pickup method.

2 Comments so far

  1. trash101 on May 2nd, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

    Maybe TALK TALK TALK should do less yakin & try measuring the new containers. the base is the same size as his old boxes (which I am assuming he places out on the sidewalk)so if you put out two containers & stacked them BY GOLLY they take up the same amount of space on the sidewalk, not to mention the occasional extra stuff tied or bundled beside them The new cart is less likely to tip over & comes with a lid so it stays in the cart unlike our old boxes.
    As for the throwing the cart all over the place most I think TALK TALK TALK is confusing them with the old blue & grey containers which were easily toss back at the sidewalk the new cart is on wheel & is most likely easier to just push it back to where it was ?
    It never fails to amaze me as to how much people just hate change

  2. talk talk talk (tor_pario) on May 2nd, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

    It never fails to amaze me how people are less observant than a cockroach, the garbage insect of choice.

    Have you actually observed a street where the big bins are sitting? Have you seen how large the large ones are, and how the medium ones are too big for most houses with narrow frontages? Have you paid attention to the news stories where people are flummoxed about WHERE to put the bloody things, and how even healthy, able adults have a hard time hauling them around? Have you actually tried to walk through a neighbourhood after the garbage workers have been by and before homeowners can pick up the bins, even the ones on wheels? Obviously not because some workers toss the things around, drop them and let them lie where they land, or just shove them onto their sides. And, being unobservant, you also totally missed the point that these containers take up MORE room on the sidewalk than the old blue boxes did and so there is even LESS room for pedestrians than before PLUS, if you bothered to absorb what I wrote, you’d understand that there are MORE bins coming, which means even less room than now. If these were garbage bags, even if the bags took up the same amount of room as the bins, they’d be GONE after they were picked up and would impede pedestrian traffic far less than the bins do.

    Furthermore the uglification of a city is not a trifling thing. It impacts on people’s perception of their city, whether it’s worth the effort to keep it clean or beautiful, tourism, sense of stress, and so on. People talk an awful lot about being happy. Well, people generally don’t feel happy in an ugly environment.

    Change for change sake is asinine. Change that makes a situation worse is beyond stupid. But change to ensure everyone can participate is a good thing. This does NOT do that. It’s all about someone in love with their own ideas who has not bothered to ask and to listen to the disabled, the overworked, those who live on narrow frontages, and so on whether this works for them and whose very ideology ensures better ideas are not considered. There ARE far better solutions out there than storing trash in one’s home, sorting it for the city and paying for the privilege, and then trying to haul it all out infrequently, putting greater burden on overstressed citizens, as I’ve written before. A city’s core business includes garbage disposal and keeping the city clean. It’s doing a lousy job of it — you probably don’t remember when it did a fantastic job — and it’s making it worse.

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