No garbage pickup leads to new ideas

Reduce. Reuse. Refuse to pick up the garbage piling up on people’s front porches.

Reduce. Reuse. Refuse to pick up the garbage piling up on people’s front porches.

Environmentalists are quietly lauding the city strike for unintentionally converting people to their cause and living a lighter lifestyle.

“It’s an unexpected consciousness-raising event,” said Mark Winfield, professor of environmental studies at York University.

“When you’re faced with a storage problem, it makes you appreciate how much stuff is coming in and out (of your home). You have to ask the bigger question about the role of this stuff and how much of it you really need.”

The prospect of smelly garbage piling up on his neighbours’ porches convinced Graeme Hussey to finish building the row of backyard compost bins he’d recently started. He invited four neighbouring families to drop off the kitchen scraps that normally would have gone out with their green bins.

“I went to get sushi last night and brought a Tupperware container because I didn’t want to have the garbage at home,” says Hussey, development director of the environmental charity Greenest City. “It’s interesting how (the strike) is really making you think.”

 
 
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