Put a lid on it

So the City of Toronto has dispatched snoopers to peer into our blue bins set out for pickup to see if we’ve included anything not able to be recycled. If they spot something, they tag the bin and leave an educational pamphlet. Second offence, the bin is not collected, the owner has to sort through and eliminate the wrongly deposited items. For repeat offenders, fines might be levied.

The city says 26 percent of what’s in the bin shouldn’t be there. For every percentage point of garbage reduction, the city could save up to $1 million. On paper, recyclable of course, this makes eminent sense. After all, the main problems are things like black plastic, clothing and mayo jars that haven’t been washed.

I don’t know about you, but every time I spend thirty seconds rinsing a mayo jar with hot water pouring from the tap I wonder if, on balance, recycling gets us very far. As for the green bin, don’t get me started. Do they really create usable compost that finds its way back onto city gardens?

Here are two better ideas. If the city is serious about saving money, force Starbucks and Tim Hortons to use recyclable coffee cups. Or stop sending both the fire department and an ambulance to a 911 house call. Lifting the lid on bins (they don’t even paw around inside) should be kicked to the curb.

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