With friends like these...Tue Nov 10, 2009 Miss Vicky
Leave it to Ottawa's city council to screw up one of the few good decisions they've made in recent years. Folks across the city are receiving their green bins and there's general excitement about starting the program in January (at least, there's excitement in the twitter feeds Miss Vicky follows). The city's education program, rolled out with the delivery, seems to be pretty good - funky website, YouTube videos and other social media activity, sample bins in community centres, advertising... they seem to be covering the bases.
Of course, the program has its opponents and some councillors have had it in for the green bins since the beginning. Since Miss Vicky has had a keen interest in this program for quite some time, here's a little retrospective for your reading pleasure. Amazing that, despite the success of these programs in cities and towns across Canada and around the world, we here in Ottawa have been discussing this years - and the real obstacle continues to be our elected leaders.
Yep. It was April 2005 that Miss Vicky wrote this reponse to Randall Denley's trashing of the program, which was about to be recommended to Council.
Here's Miss Vicky's presentation to Council supporting the program, which was directed to specific remarks by certain councillors
Then election time and there was some turnover... however the program did get the green light after some debate
But the excitement was short-lived, as the need for budget cuts drove councillors to make decisions that would undermine the scope of the items collected by the program (and thus its effectiveness and appeal)
And then there was the ridiculous decision to maintainweekly garbage pickup when the program starts.... costing us more money and reducing the incentive to compost.
And now this.
Yep, there's nothing like the budget process to ruin a good program for everyone.
The notion of separating waste diversion fees from the rest of the property tax bill has been floating around for a while (you'll see a reference to it on one of my early posts). Didn't like it then, don't like it now. City services are city services - separating them out just leads people to think they can pick and choose. And what they've done is add unnecessary controversy to a good program that will reduce what we send to the landfill - thus saving us all money and environmental headaches in the long term.
If the city is really worried about paying for the costs of garbage, how about setting some limits on the amount of crap you can put out in a week? There's no incentive to reduce waste in this city. You can demolish an entire house and put the residue in individual bins, set it out and they'll pick it up. It's nuts.
The issue will be debated by the full council. I hope they'll see the error of their ways. And I hope they'll start acting like leaders and promote this program for the benefits it will bring (note to Peter Hume: saying we're "stuck with it" is not helpful).