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Monday, August 24, 2009

Lessons Learned...

Lessons learned... or not

Garbage pick up has resumed in this city of ours. Most have had 3 pick-ups. We in the Beach have had two pic ups of garbage and one of recycled materials. Tomorrow we have another pick up of recyclables. We were all inconvenienced by this work stoppage. It made some think quite extensively about the way this city is managed. It made a lot of us question the amount of waste we create. But some have decided that the city, and its residents need to stop creating physical and fiscal waste.

On almost every street corner of this city resides a gaggle of newspaper boxes. Some of them demand coins to open and remove the contents. Others though are open to all and their contents are free to all.

But are they really free?

These free daily periodicals may be free to those that read them, but they’re not free to those that don’t read them. The residents of this city pay for the clean up and disposal of them. Most free newspapers end up littering the streets of our city. They wind up on TTC property, in parks and on park benches, in the gutters and vacant spaces, especially throughout the fringes of the downtown core.

Ironically, most of these publications would want you to believe they promote public awareness and claim the higher ground when environmental issues become the flavor of the day. In fact, the publication most likely to be found littering our streets has just published a cover article entitled “The 100 Mile Myth”. How can a publication promote an ethical environmentally responsible way of life, yet create a publication that encourages litter and wastefulness in the way it delivers its message?

The city would do well to ban free periodic publications. It should at least ban the distribution of unsolicited publications. Ban boxes on street corners that don’t require payment to open. If a publication is free, it should only be available at the publisher’s office or delivered to the reader’s home and only if requested.

Free publications, including mass mailings of junk mail cost us all in disposal fees. We as tax payers pay for the clean up, pick up and disposal of all discarded printed products. No matter if they’re delivered to us free, deposited in newspaper boxes at no charge or simply left at street corners.

Free printed matter, whether advertisement or editorial isn’t free. We all pay for it. If it wasn’t printed no one would have to pay for it. The city should not allow it to be printed in the first place!

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