Earlier this week on Greater Ottawa, David Reevely asked: "Why do people feel so strongly about garbage?"
Quick background: The City of Ottawa's doing a series of public consultations about garbage and recycling collection, and one of the ideas that's being tossed around is moving to bi-weekly garbage pick-up. (Meanwhile, green bin and recycling pick-ups would happen every week.) The move would save at least a million dollars a year, maybe more. Several city councillors have declared that they'll oppose any changes to weekly garbage collection - regardless of the cost.
My take: we've got it pretty damn good in Ottawa when it comes to garbage, with a full recycling and green bin service, and garbage pick-up that's virtually unlimited. You can put just about anything on the curb -- in any amount -- and it'll be picked up.
Compare to Belleville, Ontario, where every bag you put out costs you two dollars (yes, two dollars). And if you want to leave an old sofa on the lawn, it costs you two dollars and you have to call city hall to give them a heads up. Recycling is free and unlimited.
Or my brother- and sister-in-law, who live in a nice suburb in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C. They have full garbage and recycling service, but each household has to individually contract their pick-up service -- at a much higher yearly cost than what we pay through taxes. And because different households use different garbage collectors, you have trucks going down the street every day of the week.
Why do people feel so strongly about garbage in Ottawa? Because we've got it pretty cushy here. Most people don't realize how spoiled we are.
What do you think?
Related: Ottawa Garbage & Recycling Guide