While the rest of the world is starving and their children digging through garbage dumps for their next meal, we are actually paying to get rid of our food leftovers. What’s wrong with this picture? A sign that our North American lifestyles have finally caught up with us. I’m feeling a little ashamed it’s come to this. yet here we are…
Hopefully by getting people to think more carefully about how to dispose of their excess food then perhaps we can learn to waste less. But those who have very little to begin with and are struggling to even feed families don’t have less to waste. These families will also have to pay the same amount as their more affluent neighbours to have their food scraps carried off, even though their waste bins will likely be much less filled. Doesn’t seem fair somehow.
The privatization of this service makes it hard for low income families to afford it, and no doubt some folks will either not comply or choose to dump elsewhere. If the district can’t come up with a way to subsidize pick up then perhaps a solution would be to have community food digesters installed in every neighbourhood so that all can participate freely and equally. We will likely see less of a rodent and bear problem than if we put totes full of fresh ripening leftovers on the streets on garbage days. How long will it take before the bears and raccoons and maybe even cougars figure out the regular pick up schedules? A 32-gallon tote even with a closure, is no match for a hungry bear, it’s like opening a Tupperware container to them.
Another big concern is school children catching buses on pick up days, amidst these animal attractors. School buses make their rounds at the same time as these “fast food” containers hit the streets for pick up.
Unlike the big cities whose main problem will be with rodents, rural areas like Sooke are not going to fare so well with edible garbage sitting at every street corner where the wildlife is abundant. it is not a good mix, and council needs to reflect on options regarding this disaster in the making. From what I’ve heard food digesters can work well to keep wildlife away if properly installed. It may be good to have them throughout the town, along with sealed holding areas for larger volumes.
The current program of privatized pickup is not equitable, or even really safe, Sooke needs the think outside the green box. Hopefully council will be looking closely at this before a mess ensues… literally.