Beware recycle, garbage police thanks to pilot project


I want to state up front: I applaud individual action, particularly in regard to climate change and ecological matters. However, I do not approve of individual action being forced onto others.

Your recent article about a “pilot” project using clear garbage bags (The Picton Gazette Oct 10 – Clear bag pilot project coming to Wellington) left me with the impression that if a small group in Wellington found it useful the use of clear garbage bags would be imposed on the entire County.

Yes, we would be allowed a privacy bag. Who would decide if: our bag was too large? Contained inappropriate material? If we used a clear bag who would decide if: our bag contained inappropriate material? Was not worthy of being picked-up? That the newsprint is not only appropriate but is protecting the collector from the broken glass wrapped inside, or is protecting the collector from “sharps”? Will the truck driver now become the “garbage police”? If the “garbage police” decides your garbage is not worthy of pick-up, does this not amount to public shaming? (I thought this went out in the 1940’s Germany.)

The “Canadian Way” is to educate. Has there been a comprehensive and on-going education program letting the public know how to properly dispose of less common items? Has there been an honest effort to make recycling easy and attractive? I think not since the County caved into special interests rather than having a drop-off location for electronic waste. Nor does the County or Quinte Waste adequately advertise special collection events. Just recently there was a Hazardous Waste collection event. There was no advance notice until the Thursday prior to the Saturday event. So convenient for the working folks.

What consideration is given to the properties of the clear bags? I have never seen clear bags large enough to fit my garbage bin. The clear bags I have seen are not especially sturdy. They would not withstand puncture from rib bones or attack from local wild life.

Last but not least, how will this affect the senior citizen or those with special needs? I am blessed that I do not have special needs, however, I am a senior citizen. In my personal experience, I found that Quinte Waste is not very flexible. A recent example concerns disposal of boxes made from “grocery box” type cardboard. (You know the type, waffle mix or Kraft Dinner boxes.) Because of arthritis, I often cannot break the boxes apart or flatten them. My solution was to put them in a larger blue-box. The net result? Quinte Waste refused to empty the blue box and insists that the boxes be put in a small blue-box. The “recycle police” are alive and well; will we soon have “garbage police”?

Mrs. C. Lancaster

RR 3, Picton