Thursday, October 15, 2009

Recycling socialism

Why is it in this province that every proposed or existing program must be imposed on every citizen. I recycle - by choice. Cans etc. to Sarcan, papers to Cosmo etc. I have a compost container. I recycle willingly. I do not need legislation or bylaws to dictate that which I do willingly without cost to me. I do think citizens should be encouraged to recycle. Offer incentives. People take their cans, bottles etc. to Sarcan because they get their deposit back. Offer subscribers to the blue box program a discount on their property tax equivalent to their cost or alternatively a share of the city's savings regarding the landfill and you will see that business flourish. Quit using plastics. We don't have a plant to recycle plastic in this province. We ship all our plastics to Alberta on semi-trailers spewing carbon and contributing to pollution.

This province has started to see a growth in young entrepreneurs. I recall a couple of young people, concerned about recycling, started a business a few years back. They have done well as evidenced by the growing number of blue boxes on curbs. We are a university city. I hope they will expand their program to include recycling furniture and household items to students in need.

I give thumbs up to the young entrepreneurs and thumbs down to the city. The best incentive is enthusiasm.


  1. I like your take on recycling in Saskatoon. If Lenore Swynstyn has her way we will all be paying for this and a bunch of other "green" cloaked socialist programs. Now if we could just get the city out of being a landlord maybe we could get back to having my property taxes paying for services and not social work.

  2. Furthermore, the benefits of voluntary recycling are being overlooked. Not sure what the current numbers are, but in the 1990s the voluntary green bins placed around town captured more than 80% of the waste paper generated by newspapers, flyers and junk mail. That's better than many cities with formal blue box programs.

  3. How is a city wide recycling program socialism compared to implementing city policies to benefit a business?

  4. Recycling is a major benefit to all. The health of our environment isnt something that we can afford to wait on any longer. I agree incentives are a good idea,but I also believe those who dont recycle should be penalized. This is a program that should be implemented in out city.

  5. I agree with the Civic Mistress in her plea to have all plastic containers banished from the province. Make it illegal to even bring them into our province. If we can't recycle it here we shouldn't have it. As for bringing out the scary "our world needs us". What a bunch of crap the world will be here far longer than any of us or our descendants. Recycling is a matter of money. If all you goodites truly want to save the world move to the countries that do nothing and have no waste management system and start there. I doubt any of you will.

  6. Yes, the world will be here far longer then any of us..but in what condition? Only the dinosaurs in our society use that b.s. spouted above as an excuse anymore. Stick your head in the sand if you like, fortunately the majority of us have concern and want to do something about it!

  7. I agree that environmental consciousness is the wave of the future. What I don't agree with is the mandatory fee for being environment aware. In addition to recycling, I have compost in my garden and use a bicycle as my mode of transportation. I have made out quite fine in my efforts the previous decade or so now. Why should I now be subjected to a fee to have someone come to my door and do what I am already doing on my own free will? Because others are not concerned with the environment those proposing the plan want to issue me a mandatory fee to either keep doing what I am doing or two cease doing it and let someone else do it? Why should I have to pay for a recycling program when in all likelihood the program that I am running is superior, more efficient for me, and FREE? If that is the case can we make mandatory 'pet license' fees for every citizen regardless of whether the own a pet, then if they do own one we can ensure that pet is licensed. What about mandatory 'carbon tax fees' to all citizens, that will make sure anyone driving a car has properly paid for their emissions (this fee should also be assessed on everyone regardless of whether they own a car or not).

    I do very well recycling on my own and the last thing I need in these times is another increase in my taxes to pay for a program that I willfully run cheaper and more efficiently. EDUCATION is the key, not mandatory programs that solve nothing.

  8. yes all those horrible mandatory recycling programs in every other Canadian city are just not solving anything....40-60% reductions in waste reporting to landfills, BAH!, that isn't much of a result....

  9. There's a difference between mandatory and available free of cost. It would be interesting to see what the effect would be on our landfill if we had a blue-box program available for people to take part in free of additional cost.

    You site SARCAN as a good incentive? That's insane, you pay 10 cents a can when you buy the beverage to get that "refund" it's a refund of a tax you shouldn't have to pay in the first place.

    This is similar to recycling, it's an investment, not a tax. All you have to do to pay for it is cut one of Atch's crazy spending ideas, like moving the Mendel.

  10. Question to the above Anonymous comment: how do you run a free recycling program?

    The deposit that you pay on your can or bottle is simply that - a deposit. When you return the can/bottle you get your deposit back. Those items that are not returnable have an environmental tax. If you didn't have a deposit to get back the majority of people would not line up at Sarcan to return bottles/cans and Boy Scouts would have to find another fundraising project.

    Remember - deposits can be returned to you. Taxes go into the black hole.

  11. Baby steps Civic Mistress, the city buys out the contract of the existing blue-box providers for every citizen who is currently taking part and every citizen who wants to take part in a specific area of the city.

    You observe the results on uptake, garbage collection, and overall costs. Then you can proceed with applying the program to the city, or going back to the drawing board.

    We need to do something here, we're *way* behind the 8-ball on recycling. Even Whitby has better recycling than us. All these other municipalities aren't somehow magical ridiculous high-tax zones because of their recycling efforts.

    You can't have a "deposit" on everything that could possibly be recyclable, what do you put it on? What's the barrier? Can you just charge an extra 10cents for all groceries? It works for pop because it's not a necessity.

    So while you're proposing taxing groceries, I'm proposing spending cuts. Like Atch & Co's crazy Mendel move, or a littany of other things, that may be good ideas, but we can't do everything in one mandate, we need to provide actual services as well.

    Recycling is high on the list, and the 6700 people in the city core with lead pipes is high on the list too.

    There's a lack of perspective on council and in the mayor's office when these things are defined as "leaving someone else behind". Maybe if Atch & Co didn't destroy the fiscal stabilization fund.

  12. What? A "conservative" mayor running up the city debt? No way!

  13. As was said before voluntary use of our recycling depots already has high utilization.
    Additional vehicles and their footprint for production, operation, and disposal to pick up for a small percentage of people who don't already recycle is abuse of the environment. All this with no assurance the recycleables are being re-used.

  14. The people who are reading this blog are not your "average" Saskatonian, I am afraid. I live in an upper-income area of Varsity View. Only about 3 or 4 houses on my block regularly recycle. I know because we had a block alley clean-up Bee, & by far the majority of houses on the block were throwing out ALL their recyclables! This is not an unusual situation, I expect. At work, I am constantly shocked by how few people recycle, even their lunch bottles & cans. I don't think the majority of Saskatoon's populations is educated about recycling, or else, just doesn't "bother".
    Twenty years ago we lived in Toronto, which had a fully functional & very convenient Blue Box Recycling program then. We are one of only TWO cities in all of Canada that doesn't have such a program. Of COURSE it should be run by the City, in order to reduce (stats say from 40-60% min.) the amount going to the landfill, as well as for serious environmental reasons. Once the city starts charging people for the amount of garbage they put out - which is actually in the works - then you will see people calling for a recylcing program. So it might cost you a few bucks. Get over it. A city recycling program is not only necessary but long overdue.

  15. I dont know what planet some of these people live on?? Very few recycle. I agree with anon above...its well over due!


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