Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dirty Little York or Nasty Little York?

Here in Toronto, we're in day 17 of the city workers' strike, which affects garbage collection, begging the question of whether Toronto's old 19th. century nicknames of "dirty little York" or "nasty little York" should be revived in some incarnation. {Well, "York" isn't so little any more.} The filth was evident early on when the strike started, but around the parks near Yonge/Wellesley, some of the trash was cleared away last week. The Torontoist has a Strikewatch, but this image from Islington & Bloor West is one of my faves. I like the pane of glass placed at the edge of the pile. There are plenty of images on flickr to peruse that are better than the ones here. These are from Friday, 3 July, which was day 12 of the strike, two days after Canada Day, and 5 days after Pride. Click here for slideshow on Picasa of larger photos with geotagging. I wish I walked along College to get photos of the old furniture, mattresses, and box springs I saw littering the sidewalks on 2 July from Spadina to Ossington.

Yonge St. north of Gerrard.

Norman Jewison Park-Gloucester St.

Yonge St. at Charles St.

Norman Jewison Park, Isabella St.

Charles-Isabella Parkette,
Isabella St.

I've noticed there is little patience for the CUPE union during this strike, which has been framed in terms of city workers wanting job security and bankable sick days. Dustups at dropoff centres between strikers and citizens hasn't helped. DigitalJournal made an interesting point about politics and the paradox of liberal voting and fiscal conservatism.

Seeing the trash in the streets and overflowing the bins, I have a better visual of how much waste is typically generated in our everyday consumption:: disposable coffee cups, empty water bottles, food wrappers galore, banana peels, etc. As the city chokes on its own refuse, what was made salient to me how much waste is being generated due to consumables. Toronto is trying to divert more garbage away from landfills with its green waste programme, although it looks like several bugs need to be worked out, and the 5¢ plastic bag tax is "disincentivizing" bag usage. Apparently, the coffee/cup lobby thwarted recycling efforts on coffee cups and lids::

"Toronto residents continue to send about 350 million cups and lids to the city's landfill because neither the paper cups nor the plastic lids are currently accepted in the city's blue bin program. First proposed in December, along with a controversial plan to force retailers to charge five cents per plastic bag, intense lobbying forced the city to back down from its coffee cup stance. Instead, it formed a 40-person working group, which has spent at least $50,000 on consultants to address the issue."
Hold your nose, Toronto. CBC predicts 28º on Friday.

Twitterversion:: #Toronto #Garbagestrike pics. Little patience for #CUPE, but is there a T-Dot voting paradox: lib, but fisc. conservtve? @Prof_K

Song:: Half An Apple - Trashcan Sinatras and Ali Smith {30 sec. preview-needs free registration & login}

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