As residents of Ottawa, we are asked to recycle and divert as much household garbage as possible so we can extend the life of the city Trail Road landfill – because who wants a new city dump in their back yard?
As one conscientious citizen, I faithfully sort my household waste and put it out to be picked up by the city blue box, black box, green bin and garbage collection programs. Plus I take household hazardous waste, used tires and electronics to special depots. I do this because I believe in reducing and eliminating if possible what we put into landfills. For this I pay a premium through my taxes and eco fees.
As I and my neighbours are doing this, the producers of Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) waste dumped their unsorted waste into large bins and trucked all of it to the private landfill in our backyard (the Carp Road landfill), because they feel they have a right to the cheapest disposal of their garbage.
When they filled up that landfill they simply demand an expansion so they can continue to dump unsorted garbage in our backyard. In Ontario the IC&I sector produces nearly 70% of the 12.5 million tonnes of waste generated each year and IC&I diversion has not improved over the years, so you can understand why citizens of Ottawa might feel that their efforts and the costs associated with residential waste diversion maybe futile.
Why should the residents of Ottawa take the time and effort to conserve a city-owned landfill when private landfill operators routinely ask for and receive approval for new and expanded landfills to dispose of unsorted IC&I garbage? Everyone in Ontario, residents, businesses and governments must work together to make this province a leader in waste recycling and diversion. Municipalities and their residents cannot be the only ones carrying the load.
Harold Moore, West Carleton
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