Citizens taking action ~ Vancouver, Lower Mainland, and beyond.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Occupy Recycling!

The 1% are trying to steal recycling from the rest of us. We can't let them have it.

First, they took the word. The 1% are pushing for a legal definition that would include burning (using throw-away products and packaging as fuel) rather than turning them into new products and packaging. We in the 99% know that recycling is really all about slowing down entropic flow, not speeding it up.

Next, they are taking the community economic development and the consciousness raising opportunities. The 1% are pushing our communities to adopt single stream recycling, where consumers don't have to think and machines do the work instead of people, and the materials are suited only to nourish dirty industry in China instead of potential clean industries right here in our communities.

But the 99% are fighting back. Wastepickers of Colombia, we celebrate your victory! We will work with you to take back our vision of recycling.

We demand access to the resources that the 1% of Big Garbage, Big Oil and Big Brands have stolen from the earth. We will not stand by as they try to blow them up into the atmosphere in the name of "recycling" and "Extended Producer Responsibility."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pele-Mele -- fast and sloppy

After 6 weeks of intensive French language training here in Montreal, I'm now spending my days reading in French about the way waste is done here.
The bad news is that I can't recycle. The municipal collection system serving this city is a Single-Stream recycling program. They market it as "collecte selective pele-mele." This certainly captures the sanctioned carelessness of it all.
Green boxes sit in the slush, overflowing with everything that somebody thinks "ought" to be able to be recycled. It gets pitched into the back of a packer truck. You can hear the glass shattering.
I have not put out our box yet. I am returning glass beer bottles to the Depanneur where we buy them. Meanwhile, I'm saving up paper. I'm stuffing it into the paper bags that my flour comes in. My hope is that when I eventually have to put the box out to be hauled away, the paper will stay bundled when it lands on the tipping floor at the centre de tri and end up in a paper bale. They claim to have a market for milk cartons, so I put them in there too.
However the two daily French language free papers (24 Heures and Metro) are stacked in the pantry. I tear out sheets to wrap the compostable food scraps from the kitchen that I have no choice but to set out in a mandatory black plastic bag on the curb.