Around a week ago, sanitation workers in Vancouver, Canada commenced a garbage collection strike which is now in it’s 8th day. A garbage strike is never good at the best of times, but during summer it can be particularly on the nose.
Rubbish has been piling up, but there’s also been some positive side effects – people have been recycling more and rushing to buy composting bins; and in another reported instance even cleaning up after themselves at a public event.
You’d be amazed how much of your waste you can reduce by recycling and composting. In our household, we’ve cut down what heads to landfill by around 60% over what I remember our family of four generated while I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. This reduction is courtesy of our worm farm, compost bin and a rather eco-savvy council that provides regular free recycling collections.
I’m also quite certain we could cut it even further by making wiser purchase decisions and being less lazy when it comes to using our recycle bin. Separating our recycling also has some small financial/community incentive too – we separate cans, bottles and other deposit redeemable items and take them to the recycling center once a month. It usually nets us about $10 each month which we put aside for donations to charities.
It’s a funny aspect of being human, often we don’t tend to make forward progress until the crap hits the fan, even if we have been provided with solid information as to why we need to take a course of action. Kudos to the residents of Vancouver in their newly found green-ness, keep up the great work!