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Feb. 24, 2020 | Monday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: Same stuff, different way
File photo/Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

Organic garbage is wet, gross, smelly, it can ooze, attract unwanted rodents, make a mess – you get the picture.

But that is precisely why it needs to go in your green bin, not your green garbage bag.

So, let’s dial back the sky is falling hysteria and hype over the Region of Niagara’s plan to introduce more residents to their green bins – the three-foot tall plastic container that fewer than half your neighbours use to get rid of their wet, gross, smelly organics.

Yes, the region is indulging in a bit of social engineering here – forcing us to only put out garbage bags every second week starting this October, while at the same time directing us to start using the green bin for all the organics.

And that messy stuff will be picked up every week. No change in that – you just have to put it into a compostable bag that goes into a solid plastic container instead of into a thin plastic bag. Seems like a no-brainer. Same stuff, different way.

The knee-jerk reaction in many quarters since the region announced this change last fall is we’ll have all sorts of problems (illegal dumping, smelly trash, etc.) because there is an assumption that people won’t comply.

Maybe. But we hope that is not the case. We hope we’re collectively better than that.

What is being asked is not difficult, it just requires a commitment to do what is best for our environment. And, in some cases, it requires a wee bit of effort and forethought. Hey, at one time none of us use blue bins, but look at us now.

Before you jump on the noisy bandwagon that this is all bad, please stop and think about what actually is being asked of us. It is not too onerous.

“What about the diapers?” Yes, that is a problem. But the region is working on viable solutions.

“But we’re paying more and getting less service!” Well, costs do go up, and as many folks across Niagara discovered with the region’s current, low-ball trash contract with Emterra, maybe low-bidders are not always the wisest choice.

“But we’re getting less service!” Um, not really. Though that could be true if people do not adapt and insist on putting all that wet, gross, smelly stuff into their green bags instead of their green bins. And maybe there will be hiccups, perhaps trucks will fill up sooner than expected, chances are the new system won’t be perfect from the get-go.

However, it will be a far sight more responsible than what we’ve been doing thus far. The problems will get fixed and we will no longer have to be embarrassed by our region’s historically low trash diversion rates.

Rather than railing and wailing about how wrong this movement is, let’s see if we can make it work. We look forward to the day when green bins are out front of every home on every street every “garbage” day.

editor@niagaranow.com

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