It is an everyday scene that has suddenly become a novelty: Waste bins lining the curb, garbage trucks making their rounds.
Only in Etobicoke, that is, where garbage collection continues as usual despite the strike by city workers.
Garbage pickup was contracted out in Etobicoke before amalgamation, to the good fortune of residents who came home yesterday to empty bins.
It’s “wonderful,” said 70-year-old retiree Johanna Brett as she stood in her garden north of Bloor Street, just west of the Humber River. She credits the private contractor, Turtle Island Recycling, with saving her and her neighbours from the piles of trash that will soon fill the rest of the city — and the vermin she fears will come with them.
Like many of her neighbours, she wonders whether people will dump garbage in Etobicoke, knowing that pickup there continues.
“It’s a relief for sure,” said Nella, as she brought her recycling bin to the curb before the truck came by.
The 43-year-old, who did not want to give her last name, said it would be nice if the rest of the city had private companies picking up their trash, too.
On nearby streets, City of Toronto public trash cans were covered with plastic to keep out garbage, while along the Humber River plastic bottles and paper plates overflowed from a garbage bin and baked in the sun.
“I think that garbage is just a huge issue,” said Elizabeth Phillips as she stood beside her just-emptied garbage bin.
The 50-year-old chef expects illegal dumping to get worse as the strike goes on, particularly in Etobicoke.
Just across the Humber River, residents who would normally put out their trash today couldn’t help but find it unfair.