Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Resolutions

The Mistress is away from the office today (how nice it must be to take off the first 'working day' of 2011).

To keep the mood light today, let's hear some tongue in cheek proposed resolutions for 2011 for news makers of 2010.

A couple to start us off:

Saskatoon City Council: To tighten their belts on the zealous spending

Lingenfelter: To campaign simply on his party's platform and his positive qualities

(Please keep your mean spirited comments to yourself, we're not looking for malicious comments)

The Mistress' Helper


  1. Link has positive qualities???

    How about to Brad Wall: To stop talking about a new dome stadium

  2. '
    federal and provincial politicians: Enough sand throwing...get to WORK for those who PAY your salaries! many are fed up.

  3. To pat lorje please have some consideration for Cosmo

  4. To Cosmo - please have some consideration for the rest of the city and not hold our recycling plan hostage.

  5. Would OUR recycling plan look like Regina's? recycling for free but pay for garbage pick-up? If that is the your plan for US I am not interested. If you want to recycle do it but don't push your adgenda on the rest of us. I recycle as much as I possibly can now, at my own expense it's not that tough and I guarantee it costs me less than $150/year "tin" cans to the metal place on Quebec, paper/cardboard to Cosmo bins, bio degradable household garbage to my compost bins and bottles and cans to local charities to take to Sarcan. I have two Safeway bags of garbage a week and (yes I know I could recycle those as well except I would then have to buy garbage bags because the city requires bagged garbage, so I am sort of recycling them)The Government does a poor job of almost anything they take on think about taking care of your own issues and stop trying to inforce your minority position on the rest of us. Encourage recycling through education not subjection.

  6. "To Cosmo - please have some consideration for the rest of the city and not hold our recycling plan hostage"

    How has Cosmo held the city hostage? Do you imply that citizens who are concerned with recycling are also concerned about Cosmo.

    What about:

    Hey Recycling advocates quit holding our city hostage

  7. Anon 8:36......is that you Pat Lorje?

  8. To Anon 8:36pm - your refusal to agree to a recycling plan pushes your agenda onto me. Refusing to recycle means filling up the landfill which we all have to pay for - why I should have a polluters agenda pushed on me and then have to pay increased taxes to build another landfill?

    I attended one of the recycling consultations - Cosmo acted like a bunch of bullies there- hogging the microphone, taping the meetings and being generally dismissive of anyone who dared to say something contrary to what they presented. Those people (in management of Cosmo) are an embarassment to everyone.

  9. What recycling consultations? I went to the city of saskatoon web site and I can't find a report or a transcript of the meetings. Didn't the City keep any records? It's not as if we are in the 19th century. Those meetings could have been streamed online for anyone to see for themselves what was being said.

    The HORROR of taping a public meeting. I remember some members of city council trying to get all recordings banned afterward. Sounded a little fascist to me. I was happy that Ms. Repo made a great presentation on the responsibility of citizens to be able to hold their representatives accountable.

    Does anyone know where I can get a copy of the tapes that were made?

    Here's a New Years wish for Ms. Repo and all other activists who keep a watchful eye on those who would erode our basic freedoms as citizens.

  10. Civic Mistress, have you ever noticed that no matter what the issue, the answer proposed by advocates and, eventually, politicians is to make changes which restrict a citizen's right to make his or her own choices?

    So, how about a New Year's Resolution for all civic, provincial and federal politicians that they pursue solutions to problems in a way that promotes and advances personal liberty and choices rather than limiting them?

  11. I can't believe the vial insults hurled towards the Cosmo people on here. Is it so bad for an organization that the 'recycling bullies' want snuffed out to advance their agenda stands up for itself and asserts its position in the community.

    That is the problem with the 'recycling bullies' is they are on such a one track mind that their tiny little hippie brains cannot comprehend that there are other VALID concerns outside of their narrow viewpoints. Anyone who opposes their specific recycling plan must then....gasp....be anti-environment.

    So to all the 'recycling bullies' who cite the slanted online polls that Saskatoon wants a curbside recycling program, LISTEN UP SASKATOON HAS ALSO SAID THEY CARE ABOUT THE GOOD WORK DONE BY COSMO INDUSTRIES. So if you want to claim we want a recycling program, acknowledge we also want Cosmo to be involved and not see their operations shut down. If it is one or the other, let's poll the residents to see which is a higher priority: Cosmo or Recycling.

    Funny how the selfish 'recycling bullies' only care about their own concerns, yet claim to be acting for the greater good.

  12. It isn't and shouldn't be a either/or choice.

  13. Wow, I can't believe how emotional everyone is about the recycling issue- and really for no reason at all. The main objective is to get people who currently DON'T recycle to start. The only question is how do we do that? And let's not pretend that there aren't costs associated with every option- including changing nothing at all. The fact is that we are paying for EVERY option and the cost of any contributions to Cosmo must be factored in as we are paying for it already.
    How do we get people who aren't recycling to start doing so? They probably aren't going to the depots for many reasons. Yes, some of this may be laziness, but one must also factor in the time and costs of doing so, particularly if you don't have a vehicle ( I am guessing that some of the people who are complaining the loudest about the cost have vehicles, own homes, etc.). The only way to get around this is to go to curbside pick up of some sort and I don't see why Cosmo and Curb-side can't work together in a union of public and private funding to do so. Curb-side already requires subscribers to separate materials so it should be no problem for the Cosmo clients - and Curb-side would have way more material than they currently have to deal with so Cosmo will be beneficial to them.
    All we need to decide is how the money is going to be spent, not if it is going to be spent.

  14. I agree with Anon 7:46 am as to the fact no matter what happens we as tax payers will be footing the bill. the number one problem I see for any system that starts charging a user fee for service whether mandated or not will be the effect of garbage being discarded around the city. It has already started. The filth that is coming from too many individual cans being over loaded is disgusting. If the city tries to start charging for garbage pick-up like they indicate in Regina our city will be a pig sty in no time. As for the recycling part. Who every said everyone wants it?? I recycle but it's not because of any idealism to think I am saving the planet. Much of it is because of the deposits that are associated with the system. Maybe the recycling dollars can come from up-front payments something like the royalty fees on CD's lets start charging a couple of pennies on everything that can be recycled and put that money into the system to pay for itself. So if you buy consumer goods you ultimately pay for their recycling. This way those people that don't use as much product or produce as much garbage don't end up paying a flat fee.

    But before this goes any further I want the City to itemize exactly what is being charged for every aspect of the waste management system we currently fund out of property tax. And that includes portions of civic administration/planning/public works/infrastructure/vehicle maintenance/licensing etc. etc. etc. Take that money off my tax bill then we can have a true user pay system.

  15. I like how the 'people without a vehicle' argument keeps on being brought up by curbside boosters. There are MORE vehicles in Saskatoon than there are people (SGI's own figures.) On a per adult basis there are WAY more vehicles than adults in the city.

    Also, how many people who don't have vehicles live in multi-unit buildings like apartments or condos? The City's curbside option won't pick up from these places, it's 'single family' dwellings only.

    So only people who live in homes and don't have vehicles is the subset of people who we need to change the whole recycling system for in order to satisfy their needs.

    Wouldn't it be way cheaper to expand the present system and give a tax break or a subsidy for these people to get the private curbside service?

    Come to think of it, if you really want to recycle and don't have a car, why not just call the private company up now and get the service? Or do people who don't have cars also not have phones?

  16. Wow 2:50 pm
    People like you- and me- assume that everyone has a phone. This is simply not true. Also, many people in Saskatoon have multiple vehicles. But, there are may people who don't have one despite this multitude of vehicles on the road. Some of these people haven't got the kind of income where they can do anything except worry about the necessities like food and rent (ever-rising rent too). Going to the recycling depot is probably not high on their list of priorities. Not to mention, hauling bags of recyclables on a bus with kids in tow, etc. may not be feasible in winter or summer.
    Also, where does anyone say that we shouldn't address the problem of multi-unit buildings just because right now there isn't such a thing?
    Why don't some people in Saskatoon realize that not everyone lives like them and that it is not always a matter of choice?

  17. Wow 7:05am

    Get off your high horse. If someone is incapable in 2011 of being responsible enough to own a phone (not cell, regular phone) then what faith is there that these people are going to take the time to sort their recyclables from their garbage. Why do you assume these people that can only "worry about the necessities like food and rent" will just willy nilly decide to take the extra time to start separating their trash and recyclables if they already don't care?

    If they're not doing it now, they don't care about the environment. If they are struggling to make rent, they won't care about soaring property taxes (and we surely know that citizens like yourself will be up in arms when landlords want to pass along the recycling fee to tenants. As they should I might add since the tenants are ones in house and this is a mandatory program for everyone regardless of income).

    That's my big problem with the mandatory program. Those who don't recycle now will be highly unlikely to start because there is a program in place. I highly doubt that neighborhood in which few people recycle will suddenly see their streets lined with blue bins every Tuesday evening in preparation for the recycling men to pick it up the next day.

    What is wrong with the tax incentive to those who recycle? Have whatever people pay for blue box privately be deductible from property taxes. I do my own recycling at the depots, if I could write off my bill I would sign up for blue box tomorrow.

    Education is the key to increasing participation, not mandatory enrollment in a (in all likelihood) expensive, unionized, inefficient city run system. This City has shown ZERO ability to implement any sort of service to the mass public in an efficient manner (from snow removal to street maintenance to garbage pick up to budgeting to whatever). The last thing I want to do is turn them lose on a recycling program where they notoriously lazy city workers will be responsible running it.

    Recylcing? Yes. Run by OUR CITY ADMINISTRATION? No thanks.

  18. "Wow, I can't believe how emotional everyone is about the recycling issue- and really for no reason at all. The main objective is to get people who currently DON'T recycle to start."

    Really? Is that the "main objective" of recycling?

    I thought it was to reduce the impact on the landfill.

    Or maybe it's not. Maybe it's too make people feel less guilty about their comfortable lifestyles.

    Or maybe it's to help the environment, whatever "help" means.

    The problem in the recycling debate is that the primary goal for recycling has never been stated in a clear, achievable manner.

    As to the question of New Year's resolutions for our politicians: Privatize liquor stores.

  19. 7:53 am: Why wouldn't the primary objective be to get people who don't recycle to do so now as this will most ultimately decrease impact on the landfill. We are already doing our part (at least I am). Is this too logical perhaps?

    7:05 am: maybe you should take a tour to more than 20th street to see how some people love. Responsibility isn't always the main issue for not owning a phone. And yes, why can't we expect people not as comfortable as us to recycle. If the key is education then you need a program in place that they can use. The program in place right now doesn't help them in this.

    Finally, if someone who rents a house is responsible enough to pay for recycling , how do you propose they get their rebate or incentive from the city? How do you eventually get this to apartment dwellers because, at some point, this has to be addressed.
    My horse is very comfortable , thanks. maybe you should get out of your SUV.

  20. 10:24

    The reference was to your earlier post where you stated that people had no time to worry about anything but rent and food. I simply asked if that is the case why the hell would they worry about recycling? I'm pretty sure that if I was in such a state of struggling to live day to day that my first concern would not be separating the papers from the plastics in a system that in no way impacts my life or survival from one day to the next. If these people are so focused on surviving, having a nice blue box dropped off will do nothing.

    I never specifically referenced any area (ie 20th street). In fact my belief is that the areas like 20th would be a smaller hurdle to overcome. I worry more about the set in their ways Saskatchewan folk. Those that could care less about this issue. You really think ramming a blue box down their throat is the appropriate way to go about it? That is usually a smart philosophy with bull headed people.

    Did I ever say that the program in place now helps them? Once again, in your arrogance, you seem to be putting words in my mouth to tailor it fit your argument. Something needs to be done, I just don't personally think that handing a carte blanche to city administration that has shown no ability to effectively implement any system to run recycling and dropping a blue box off at every door will solve our problems (I forgot to mention the mosquito control program among the many bungled city operations).

    Obviously from your response you are as arrogant in your views as come off. I don't drive an SUV thanks, I have a small toyota camry (which I use to drive to sports/groceries/etc.., I walk to work and around my residence). Herein lies the problem in this whole debate is that 'recycling bullies' as I believe it was termed above are so indoctrinated in their view, and believe so hard that their opinion on the matter is the right one, that it is impossible to have a civilized debate on the topic. It is your way or the other person is a gas guzzling ignorant environment hater.

    PS- As for the rental units, there are ways around that. Why couldn't someone who is interested in blue box arrange with the landlord to have the subsidy applied on their property taxes in exchange for a reduction to rent? Make it a bylaw that landlords must redeem the credit of tenants? Oh I forgot, you've assumed that all renters have no ability to be responsible. That you, as an enlightened individual know what is good for them, and that they are incapable of handling themselves. I fully support the array of social programs that are available, but sooner or later personal responsibility needs to come into play. Funny though, you believe that every citizen will be responsible enough to properly use your program, yet incapable of handling their other personal affairs and need your guidance.

  21. Not incapable- that seems to be your belief not mine! I am assuming that people can learn to recycle once a program is in place. You seem to assume that they can't be bothered so why bother with a program anyway.

    re: landlords - get real. Do you think landlords are going to want to take the time to find out which of their residents are recycling and apply a credit? They're lucky to get basic repairs to their apartment.

  22. Here's a good New Years Resolution for all.....

  23. Back to Recycling. Solution to the problem. Okay maybe not but it might help.

    Do we not already have environmental charges on items such as pop containers, electronic goods, just expand it. Now I'm not talking about the deposit we will get to that, but a charge that is suppose to go to "save the planet" What if every item purchased had a fee. This in turn would fund any new landfill that needs to be built or recycling depot/service required. And I mean for ALL consumer goods. Think about it where does the "garbage" come from?? those that spend more would pay more. Those that are only buying staples etc. wouldn't There could even be a scale for what could be considered necessities. ie milk, bread... These items would be taxed at a lower rate than say cigarettes or candy bars.

    So now that the cost is looked after lets talk how to get people to recycle. DEPOSITS!!!!!
    It works look at pop containers you pay your 10 cents you get 10 cents back. So you buy a paper you pay 5 cents deposit. You return paper to depot you get 5 cents back. You buy a TV you pay $20 bucks deposit you take TV to recycle you get $20 bucks. Right now there is no incentive to recycle many items and history shows deposit help.

    Just one man's attempt to expand the system.

    Oh and lets keep Civil Servants out of handling this. I don't need another attempt at something like the transit fiasco to waste my money.

  24. Well 3:05, deposits do work. In Alberta they put a deposit on milk jugs (I think it's 10 cents for a small container and 25 cents on the 4 litre size) and they went from having 40% of milk containers returned to almost a 80% return rate almost overnight.

    However the evil cold-hearted Conservative government in Alberta was demoninzed by social activists who said that the poor couldn't afford the deposits. After all it's a well known fact the poor people do not drink pop or beer because of the deposits on the container. They just can't afford those items and it's heartless to put a deposit on a staple like milk.

    Ontario attempted to put an enviro fee on many consumer goods but those fees were rightly seen as a tax in another form and the people rebelled.

    It's funny that whenever proponents talk about the reasons to recycle it's almost always about the landfill and the idea of waste diversion or zero waste but they NEVER talk about the recycled materials themselves.

    Either these materials are garbage or they are a resource. If you believe that they are garbage, then the landfill is the right destination for them. If you believe that they are a resource then it's about fulfilling the needs of the manufacturers who will be using these resources and turning them into other products.

    You never hear these 'recycling bullies' talking about the needs of the industries which use these materials. They also never talk about the fact that it's only due to globalization that these materials have a market and can be recycled.

    The education program on recycling should have the rallying cry, "Hurray for globalization, it's saving the planet!"

    The 'recycling bullies' don't mind if local businesses go out of business or if a local charity gets marginalized along the way as long as they can force every resident to behave in a way that fits the bullies beliefs.

    Again it's funny that the same people who scream about big box stores and the demise of small locally owned businesses don't seem to care about putting Saskatoon Curbside Recycling out of business if the city moves to mandatory curbside.

    SCR loses money on most of the materials that it collects. The only reason that they are in business is that people like me are willing to pay for the service that they provide at my door. It's the service that is profitable, not the materials.

    The city and the 'recycling bullies' will put SCR out of business by imposing a mandatory curbside collection system on everyone and taking away the voluntary customers SCR currently has. There's no way I'll continue to pay for SCR when the city is forcing me to pay for the city truck coming to my house as well and I don't think I'm alone.

  25. Wow, so much fretting over something every other city in Canada is already doing. Guess what, those cities did not cease to function, they recycle two to thee times more than Saskatoon, and the majority of people have no problem with the systems.

    Get a grip.

  26. Anon 9:21. Not every city has the identical recycling system, some of them are very well designed and some are an environmental and economic nightmare. The majority of people in either situation have no idea which category their city belongs in. All they know is that the recycling is taken somewhere and once it's out of their hands they don't think about it anymore.

    There are some very good mandatory curbside systems out there and these are the ones that we should emulate. However our city councillors also have the responsibility to learn from the expensive mistakes of other cities and not replicate them here.

    Since you don't realize that there are very important details that need to be fretted over, in order to create the best recycling system in Saskatoon, tells me that as long as a truck comes by everyone's house to pick up recyclables, you don't really care whether the system is efficient, effective and environmentally sound. You are just focused on your prefered collection method and don't really know all the variables involved in a complete recycling system.


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