I commend Surrey for implementing a new waste program that removes organic waste from landfills. However, the program relies on building occupants, most of whom have lived with the old garbage bag system all their lives, to now responsibility and judiciously separate food wastes – with few options for how to avoid a complete mess.
Dry food, such as mouldy bread, potato chips and vegetables are not a problem. They can be tossed into the organics cart and then the garbage truck with little mess. But what about food wastes with liquids, like that old beef stew, or those rotten tomatoes, or that smelly can of sardines in sauce?
The city advised me to simply put some newspaper on the bottom of the organics cart. But I can imagine the mess when the organics cart, full of liquid foods, is picked up and dumped into the garbage truck – bits of squishy foods that fall onto the ground and are left in the cart.
Residents are advised to rinse the cart out on their front yard, which will also leave food wastes buried in the lawn. The result will be an increase in the rat population which suddenly finds tasty little morsels left all over the block.
Of course, we can purchase the special little food waste bags lined with a compostable cellulose at a few depots around the city. But these bags should be available in different sizes at all the hardware and big box stores for convenient purchase.
Watery, liquid food wastes are going to be a problem. Irresponsible residents will simply put all that slop into a plastic bag and look for the nearest dumpster, or toss it into the nearest bush. I suggest Surrey property owners make sure all dumpsters are locked and prepare for an onslaught of rats.
Recycling program is Surrey’s HST moment
The City of Surrey is ramming its new garbage disposal system upon residents without giving it careful consideration or wider consultations with the people who shall be forced to use this program.
It seems that no thought has been given to the problems that will be inflicted upon people living in townhomes or smaller properties. Scottsdale Village is a strata of 103 townhouses with fairly wide roads and single-car garages. But most of the townhouses in Surrey have narrow roads and some do not have even car garages to store these bins. The waste collection bins are too big to be accommodated in the garages or to be stored outside. Many residents will be forced to keep these bins on the roadside that will make the place look like a big trash centre.
Though the city does offer smaller bins, those cost $25 per bin. How can the city force a size on unsuspecting residents and then charge them if one size does not fit all? While the city may save costs with this program in the name of recycling, the system taxes people as they will have to buy bags to deal with organic trash and to wash those regularly to keep those clean and avoid bad odour. That will lead to waste of water and higher water bills for those with meters.
What about those who are single, retired or too old to handle these humongous monstrosities and don’t even need so much capacity? Maybe the mayor and the City of Surrey have a larger plan to create more jobs as more people will be needed to deal with raccoons and rats in near future. Or is it their HST moment?
Scottsdale Village Strata Council
Reduce and reuse first
Re: “Overhauling garbage” (Frank Bucholtz, The Leader, Sept. 27) is a worthy goal. But isn’t it about time we reviewed the three Rs – especially “reducing?”
Recycling bins continue to be filled with packaging from all kinds of products as we proudly talk about how well we are stewarding the resources of the environment.
But it’s about time we had a refresher course on how to reduce the amount of wasteful materials we take into our homes and refuse to buy over-packaged products (I mean 24 rolls of toilet paper, each individually wrapped in plastic, then covered in yet another layer of the stuff) and reject goods that come in so many layers of garbage that end up in those lovely, shiny, new recycling bins.
And don’t get me started on the stacks of store flyers that get dumped into recycling bins every week without even being opened by residents, many of whom – if they had the choice – wouldn’t get them in the first place.
Congratulations to Surrey on its new program. Now, how about a public relations program educating people about the first “R?”