Back before we began recycling and using the Blue Box system, separating plastics from glass and metal, and putting newspapers and other papers in a separate bag, people used to simply chuck it all out with the trash. But we soon learned that wasn’t sustainable.
Change can be hard, and for some people, it takes a lot of practice and creating a new habit.
Smokers have learned over time that they cannot light up in indoor spaces, as per Capital Regional District bylaws; heck, many people quit rather than be relegated to grabbing a few puffs in the cold or wet.
Getting used to no longer being able to mix kitchen scraps in with the regular garbage seems less about begrudgingly accepting a forced behavior, and more about simply figuring out whether you’ll compost in the back yard, use a not-so environmentally friendly garburetor, or have someone take it away.
Options are readily available through waste service providers for people to combine green bin pickup with their regular garbage collection, for a modest fee.
Yes, we’re being asked to take the extra step of separating our organic material from non-compostable garbage. But we prefer to look at the situation as all of us doing the right thing as members of a growing community.
The consequences of – a.k.a. penalties for – mixing organics with regular garbage, initially fall on the haulers dropping off truckloads of full bags to the Hartland Landfill. But eventually, non-compliant residents may receive a talking to from drivers, have an explanatory note left behind, or simply have their trash left at the curb. For multi-unit residential buildings, tossing scraps into the dumpster, if left unchecked, could affect many others.
It really doesn’t need to come to that point. We know our regional landfill would have a far shorter lifespan if this move was not undertaken. And while it will still become full in the not-too-distant future, we’re pleased that the CRD has taken this proactive step as a way to extend the life of the shrinking resource that is our common dump.
It’s up to all us to play our part, for the good of all.