NOTE: ANYONE INTERESTED IN JOINING THE CAMPAIGN TO KEEP TORONTO'S TRASH IN TORONTO, PLEASE PM.
Open letter to David Miller:
Dear Mayor Miller,
I understand that Toronto is seeking other options in Ontario in case Michigan eventually turns Toronto's garbage back.
One of those options was the Edwards Landfill in Cayuga, and perhaps another is DumpSite 41 in Simcoe County.
Edwards land fill truck deliveries have been turned back by local residents and Six Nations, and the operator now wants to sell to avoid bankruptcy: I doubt it will ever open. DumpSite41 will experience the same protests by residents, and the Wendat traditional people who have land rights in the area are watching the situation very closely too.
I am an activist for the environment and a supporter of Indigenous land rights. I live in Hamilton, but I grew up just a few miles south of the proposed DumpSite41, raised on drinking the wonderful water that will now likely become contaminated. There is a larger movement afoot across the country, partnerships among residents and Indigenous Peoples, to defend our environment from mining and other toxic endeavors. Soon a focus of that will become the horrific amounts of garbage, much of it recyclable, that Toronto ships to other communities. It is a high media profile issue that will have many other side benefits too by making an example of Toronto.
I don't hate Toronto. I lived there for two years of the last 5, and I love it. However, Toronto's current lifestyle is simply not sustainable and its waste is now invading other communities and that will simply have to stop.
TORONTO DOES NOT RECYCLE well at all:
How many meetings have I been to where water bottles went into the garbage? Too many, and multiply that by the number of meetings held in Toronto each day? I suspect you are sending several truckloads of water bottles to landfills everyday!! That is appalling.
At my apartment off Yonge St, some recycling finally started in 2002, but the bins were always full the day after they were emptied and anything left beside the full bins was put in the garbage by the Sup. And composting was unheard of! My apartment overlooked an alley behind Yonge St where the restaurants stored their trash: It was full of recyclables and compostibles.
Hamilton has an excellent recycling and composting program. Since the composting started, I generally have
NO GARBAGE AT ALL: All of it goes to the blue bins or green bins. Hamilton takes everything for recycling, and sorts it themselves, earning back a substantial part of the cost of pickup and improving compliance as people don't have to sort their own, except paper/cardboard.
Toronto seriously needs to get its trash together and keep it in its own backyard. Toronto is a perfect candidate to experiment with the new processing methods that produce power as a side benefit, another issue that makes Toronto look like its old name "Hog Town". The other local governments in Ontario that are preparing places to bury Toronto's trash will experience opposition because the local residents and Indigenous Peoples will turn back the trucks if it gets to that stage.
If Toronto doesn't want to be hated, Toronto should stop dumping its trash in other communities: Why send it to Cayuga to contaminate the Grand River when you have rivers of your own?
Why send it to Simcoe County to contaminate the world's most pristine groundwater aquifer water table, when your own is probably already contaminated and you wouldn't even notice the difference!
Please seek out more sophisticated ways of dealing with your trash and set an example for others. I know the people of Toronto will comply if you design a system for them that works. The laxity in Toronto's trash program was a common topic of conversation when I lived there. Residents are embarrassed at Toronto's lazy attitude about trash.
Thank you for considering my concerns. I hope you will heed my 'headsup'. You can take care of it yourselves, or let it become a serious point of contention between Toronto and other communities that already do a MUCH better job on their own trash, so why would they want yours?
It is still your choice at this point and the time for innovation is now, to stop the trucks yourself.
Watch the Toronto Trash trucks being turned away from Edwards Landfill in Cayuga, near Caledonia, by local residents and Six Nations: 4th video down the page. After several weeks of picketing and blocking trucks, the operator is now out of business and the Toronto trucks are all going to Michigan again.