Everyone can see your junk

By | August 8, 2005

This weekend I was in Guelph. I love that town, but I have decided I can’t ever live there.

They have very serious rules for garbage. Guelph has a ” Wet-Dry” recycling program. What’s a “Wet-Dry” recycling program? Oh, let me tell you!

Okay, you know how you have a garbage bag for garbage and how you collect your cans, plastics and paper products for recycling?

In Guelph it you have to collect your various wastes in special clear plastic bags and you must be certain that your wets and drys don’t mix.

So what’s wet? (Isn’t all garbage wet to some degree?) Food wastes (including meat) and other compostable materials such as diapers, dryer lint and pet feces are considered wet.

And this can’t be near the dry stuff: paper, cans, glass, plastics, clothes, shoes and styrofoam.

So you have to put all this stuff out on the curb in clear plastic bags! No cheating there. Everyone on your street can see your wets and drys. Wet stuff goes green-tinted bags and dry stuff in blue-tinted bags.

I think there is a third bag for real garbage (what’s left I have no idea but that must be the point) that can’t be recycled. And this is a transparent bag too. No cheating there. You can’t hid it.

How do I know this? I could not figure out why my friends had three garbage pails in their kitchen. Seemed a bit odd but they are new homeowners so maybe they had some special new system. Anyway, curiosity got the better of me and I asked. It was explained.

And then I ran home and looked it up.

This really is a great program. About seventy per cent of Guelph’s household waste is now diverted from landfill. So kudos for that but I could not get used to the clear bags showing off all my junk.

I am garbage shy.

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