Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who's to know if I put green garbage in a sealed bag?Guest blog by John Dowson.



Must be the full moon.

My picture file has been corrupted again.

I had intended to show the image of our good- looking correspondent, John Dowson, but it appears that I had unintentionally mooned him.

Not to worry. John is an area politician (ran twice) and a magazine writer. Writing for York North Magazine, he offers a new take on exurban living.

So much so that the last time I ran one of his vignettes, responses came in from as far away as the American Midwest. Ah, exurban and suburban life. It's everywhere, it's everywhere!

Dagwood and Blondie. But Dagwood no more. Women are great organizers in this new system of scrupulously organizing and collating the suburbanite's garbage.

"Blue box" concerns. Put the green stuff in the green bin. Orders. Orders. We must follow orders!

It's our newly regimented life and welcome to it.


WHERE DOES IT GO?
By
John Dowson

Our household eagerly awaited the arrival of our new Green Bin, for months leading up to September we had been told that our Green Bin was on its way along with a new garbage collection system, the day finally arrived and our brand new Green Bin was delivered. We were like kids opening a Christmas present. We ripped off the sticky shipping notice, flipped open the lid and peered inside. “Hey” I said “there’s a small plastic container, some information papers, a large fridge magnet and a fold out with instructions”. “What do we do with this stuff” I said. “Read the instructions” said my wife, and we sat down to find out what goes where.

The first order of business was to decide where to put the Green Bin, the little plastic container, the garbage bin and the blue box container. Before the Green Bin, we had two containers under our sink and now we had to find room for three. Previous to all this I’d been trained to haul the garbage bags to the curb each week and every other week I’d add the Blue Boxes.

Just like Pavlov’s dog I followed this routine, and now I was forced to learn a new routine. I not only had to remember what to place at the curb each week, I also had to learn what went in the Green Bin, the garbage bin, and the Blue Box. This was heady stuff, after years of sorting garbage and becoming skilled at reading the triangle on the bottom of each container for the blue box, I now had to learn to three stream the garbage, and figure out, what went into each bin. We pored over the instructions, which were so small we had to use a magnifying glass. Pre-Green Bin.

Green Bin on the brain.

In the past, after dinner, before all the elaborate recycling process, we just scraped off our plate, dumped the scraps in the garbage and washed the dishes. My mother had drummed into us “Clean off your plate after dinner” and we did. Now after eating we have to consult the directions on our fridge to find out, what goes where..

“Where do fruit and vegetables go?” Iasked . “In the Green bin” said my wife “What about my napkin”, “Is it soiled?” she wanted to know.

" Do you mean did I use it?!”

"Hm. Let me read the instructions” she said. (The fold- out is pasted on our Fridge for reference).

” I think it’s Green Bin” she decided as I'd put it in the little plastic container under the sink.

“What about plastic wrap?”

“Garbage” she answered, “Paper."

"Is it shredded?”"

“Yes” had I said as I tore it into small pieces,

"Uh. “Green bin, I guess. ” Are you sure it’s not in the Blue Box? I asked.

“If it’s small and shredded you can put it in the green bin” she said. “It says paper goes in the Blue box.” “Green Bin” she finally declared,

“Well what goes in the garbage bin?" “

"Don’t argue with me. Just put it in the Green Bin” she said as she stormed out of the kitchen.

Meal time use to be a pleasant affair, now it’s like 20 questions, what goes where, is it animal, mineral or vegetable; I shudder to think what happens at dinner parties. Before the Green Bin arrived.

Garbage was a Guy thing, but this Green Bin is a woman thing. Try this simple test, ask any woman what item goes where and she’ll rattle off the correct bin. Meat.. Green Bin, Coffee.. Green Bin, Gum…Garbage, Milk bags.. Garbage et cetera. I think I’ll just put everything in garbage bags and put them out every two weeks, who’s to know!!!

--John Dowson.

##

14 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I wonder if I go in the green bin or the garbage.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh green!


Feel that way sometimes.

I certainly have.

But over the track, the high-seated charioteer.

Monique said...

Very funny. But so true! In the early nineties I visited my sister in Holland and she had exactly the same dilemma every day. They had a green bin for papers (is greaseproof paper?), a blue bin for vegetable peelings (onions too?) and a grey one for tins (which one are aluminium?). Dilemma after dilemma.

ivan@crativewriting.ca said...

Gee,

When I was sleeping in a dry dumpster one day, the big truck came.
Wonder, with Charles, how they would have sorted me once I was scooped up. :)

Josie said...

I must be a guy. I don't do that. I just put everything into the garbage. Bad me. Bad, bad me.

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.

I think we been greened out.

Over here in Ontario, it sems to go into the same slush pile anyway, especially when a green compost dump in the corner of town smelled so bad,making people sick, that Halton Recyclinge was almost run out of
town on a pole. Heh. And I was the "Pole" with the tar a feathers, ready to apply.
I suspect that everything in the Toronto area goes into landfill anyway.

Anonymous said...

Straight thoughts 169
Jun 21st, 2008

The Canadian Senate recently passed an “anti-spanking” Bill (Bill S-209). This Bill will now be discussed in Parliament.

We have spoken before on the necessity to maintain the authority of the family and against government intervention in family law.

To understand the implications of this proposed law, we need to analyze anti-family activism within the context of the culture war.

These activists are determined to remove responsibilities from the family and give power to the state.

This power shift goes against the principle of subsidiarity, a Catholic principle similar to the concept of “spheres sovereignty” used among Reformed and Presbyterian Christians. This principle states that the government role should be limited to do what families, associations, churches and lower levels of government cannot do for themselves, apart from cases in which criminal law is broken.

Any effort against the above principle leads inevitably to tyranny and oppression.

In all cases of attack to freedom, family and property, we can identify a pattern.

First: Activists use the media, to generate public awareness and pressure.

Second: Activists try to introduce legislation, by including vague terms in Bills that can then be “interpreted” by liberal judges.

Third: Activists use the justice system. They appeal a case until it goes to the Supreme Court, which has the power to declare anything “unconstitutional” and “read-into” the Charter of Rights what they want.

The anti-spanking issue
In trying to push a repressive solution to the purported problem of spanking, activists (most of them lawyers) tried the first of the above steps. However, they were not able to generate enough public interest through debates (One of which was organized by CTS who invited me as a guest).

We now need to send a message to our federal Legislators and stop this Bill in Parliament, because:

-“People who use violence in a repeated way” (as the Bill says) can already be charged and prosecuted.

-This bill will not prevent acts of violence, but will severely curtail the ability of loving parents to help their children become responsible adults.

-This Bill will give more excuses to the children aid societies to remove children from their natural parents and assign them to “politically correct” couples.

-This Bill will require another bureaucracy to accept complaints and tribunals to hear them. Because this parallel justice system would not follow strict legal proceedings, just as in the case of the Human Rights Commissions, most cases risk receiving the same “guilty” verdict, no matter what the evidence is. Then, when appeals would have to be launched through the court system, our courts will be even more burdened with frivolous cases and related costs.

-This Bill’s wording is not defined and is open to interpretation. For example, what is “excessively offensive or disruptive behaviour”? Such language will give an excuse for precedents in law, which will eventually override the intent and actual wording of the current Bill.

Giuseppe Gori, Leader
Family Coalition Party of Ontario

the walking man said...

We don't have but one bin in Detroit...the big black one. Everything goes in it, they tell us to not put yard waste in it but most people do and then throw garbage on top of it so the driver can't see he's not supposed to dump the can.

And they say we are not progressive here.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

In the complicated game of Gangster-Garbage-Money, we had been sending our trash to Michigan--until recently.
Not a class act, for just about the largest country in the world.
So we send it to poor little Michigan.

All that beautiful country despoiled by Tornto's garbage.
Well, Toronto finally bought its own garbage acreage and the farmers in nearbyHalton Region are hopping mad. Some of the waste is turning out to be toxic.
I heard it's hard on the genes.

Eleventh-Finger migh not just be a rock'n'roll band.
What kid wants eleven fingers?

I swear Toronto politicians are mad.
Should have sent it to he Norh, to be buried in an old mine, as was the original plan.

the walking man said...

Ivan, we didn't mind the garbage, medical waste or not, but the trucks and the price paid to landfill the stuff was ridiculous. .25 cents a ton (US) and the compactor trucks were so heavy that they did damage not just to the road surface but the bed as well.

There was no compensation for the roads and when we went to raise the landfill rates we found that under some strange twist in NAFTA we couldn't.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh yeah. Nafta.

And we thought we had problems at our end.

Barrak backed off on NAFTA modification when it came to Canada.

In an unrelated matter John McCain has been in Canda recently, tramping up the woods.

WTF. We can't vote for him over here.

the walking man said...

He may be looking for a good place to crash (his 4th) another plane or shoot a hunting buddy...

ivan@cxreativewriting.ca said...

We have a big enterprise out in our East coast.
Used to be called McCains TV dinners.

Now it's McCain's frozen foods.

Ah, does a Republican candidate go hunting in the woods too?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Oh dear oh dear,

Headline in today's Era-Banner, Newmarket:

"Green bin program his major setback":
"York Region has resorted to incinerating one third of its organic waste in what may be considered a major setback to the celebrated green bin program.
Composting of curbside collected green bin material is the preferred process.

Instead, 500 tonnnes of the 1,500 tonnes of organic waste cellected weekly in York Region is being shipped to Covanta Niagara L.P. in New York State, where it is burned to create electricity and steam in the Niagrara area.


John Dowson: After all the scrupulocity, you may have been wasting your time.

"Generating steam and electricity?
A likely story.

Wha t in hell is amammoth garbage incinerator doing at beautiful Niagara Falls?

Ah, Tony Soprano. He fix.
And we dweebs are so careful to sort and categorize the garbage.

And it all goes to one big fire pit.
And befouls the resort area air.

Generating electricity and steam.
Right!