Monday, January 17, 2011

Waste Not - Want Not


Well since things seem to be functioning in the lovers den.... this rant is about a different relationship-our love affair with trash!

After doing a bit of Spring cleaning over the weekend, I had the plesure of visitng my local dump.  I was astonished to see just how much garbage our community produces.  You see I grew up in the Interior of British Columbia, where all of Vancouvers garbage goes!  In the summer time you were hit with the stench of rotting trash, and when the wind piped up-it was strown across the highway for everyone to witness.  Did you know that your garbage gets buried in the ground?  Well where I am from it does.

So when I went to the dump, I was amazed that no one sorts through the garbage, instead they leave it up to "honest" individulas to tell them what you are dumping. 

Well, as much as I think most people are honest, with todays economy, everyone is looking to save a buck here and there, so the chances of them telling the attendant that they are throwing out old used car batteries, or electronics-which costs more to dump-I am sure they are going with the cheaper avenue-household garbage. 

No one sorts it, no one checks to make sure you are not throwing away old cans of paint-nope instead they shovel it ito a compactor, truck to the lovely place I grew up-and bury it in the ground.

We wonder why we have cancers, life threatening illnesses, and mercury in our oceans.  We wonder why beached whales are disposed of the same way toxic waste is, why our polar bears are dying of exhaustion to make it to their next meal and why our birds are falling from the sky.  Well try burying a toaster in the ground for a few months, and then measuring what chemicals and toxins are seeping into the ground-the same ground where we grow fruits and vegetables to feed our children.

SO next time you have something that you are going to throw away-THINK-think can I donate this to someone in need-can I take anything valuable from it-can I turn it into something useful, can I recycle it, can I keep it.

a tribute to our old dog

"Lady of the vineyard"

"Who Who"-owl

snail on the fence
My New Years resolution hit me this weekend-and it is not to lose weight or quit smoking, which will only benefit me-but rather to waste less.  Throw things away only if it is necessary-and to make something out of the next guys common trash.  My first endeavor will be to make art of of garbage-which my dad does all the time (above photos), or like Aura Joon, who makes stuff out of recycled things or garbage-like old cupboard doors that she paints and puts quotes on.

I hope the next generation is smarter then we were, given they have more then we ever did-does that mean eventually all of it will end up in the landfills?  Well that is up to you and me!

Please send me your great ideas on things that I can make out of garbage like Aura Joon and my dad do!  

PS-Just because you think you are recycling your electronics through the right avenues, check out this video which open our eyes to where it all is really going... a documentary that I will surely be watching, and I hope you do to!


  1. Hmmm. We started recycling in an effort to get our town dump sticker costs to go down. 3 years later, the cost of the sticker is still going up, but I am happy to report that that started us on recycling.

    We have a family of four (generally) sometimes 5 living here. We generate 1 bag of trash a week. One. And in the summer, we can compost most of that.

    As for the computers going to Africa, I am shocked. All of our computers and components go straight into the metal recycling bin at the dump, where I've seen them go via bucket loader, into a truck, then off to the metal recycling plant.

    That alternative in Africa? Tragic.

  2. In our community the Solid Waste District Board found that when they gave everyone a large (90 gal)recycling bin vs. the little 5 gallon bins not only did they increase the amount of recyclable material, they increased participation in the program. It seems that they are now closer to paying for it through the sale of the recycling material. It pays to recycle.


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