February 17, 2006

Status Quo for Toronto's Garbage Problem

It was announced today that Toronto has signed with Verspeeten Cartage to haul its garbage to Michigan beginning in April. Toronto faced a crunch when their current hauler, Wilson Logistics, bailed on negotiations with the city apparently over costs. What this means for Toronto is that nothing has really changed. The new agreement's cost has yet to be publically released. Councillor Mike Del Grande calls the new deal 'a band-aid solution'. He couldn't be more right. It's interesting to note that Toronto's mayor, David Miller, is officially offiliated with the NDP (or at least he was when originally elected mayor). He has often been considered left-leaning when it comes to social issues. It is because of this I find it most frustrating that he has only propped up the status quo of Toronto's garbage problem. While he introduce and expanded Toronto's Green Bin program he was also a major player and proponent in extending Toronto's contract with Republic, the company that runs the landfills where Toronto's garbage gets hauled. The frustration comes from that fact that both the federal and Ontario wings of the NDP have very strong opinions on environmental issues. Both have pushed for greater progressive and alternative strategies in dealing with issues such as garbage and pollution. There are better alternatives (see here) than landfill that can be used. David Miller needs to begin recognizing these alternatives and begin consultation on developing a plan. His best bet would be to work with the Ontario government to develop a long-term strategy for the entire province since Toronto is not the only municipality that is struggling with a garbage issue.

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)