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EDITORIAL: Waste disposal - we'll get there

Editorial.
Editorial. - 123RF Stock Photo

The Sort-It Western program kicked in last week and whether people like it or not, it’s here to stay.

It’s been nearly two decades in the making and is being praised by some and criticized by others.

Change is never easy and having to do things differently when it comes to separating our throw-away items seems very different at first. However, relatives and friends in other provinces are quick to point out they’ve been doing it for years.

Yes, Newfoundland and Labrador is only catching up on this one now and although many people have been separating their drink bottles and cans and some types of cardboard for years, there are a lot more new items to separate.

Sure it’s frustrating for many who have been in the routine of just throwing everything into a garbage bag and bringing it to the curb. There was some privacy with the black and dark green bags but now it’s mandatory to put your trash in clear bags and recyclables in blue tinted bags.

It’s only easy to keep it between yourself and the garbage collector by covering what you put to the curb under wraps, such as a blanket or tarp. Those nets just don’t seem to work the same.

With the amount of trash and recyclables the collector has to pick up in the run of a day, it’s a little doubtful that he or she is going to remember or care what’s placed out to the curb at any one location anyway.

The aim is to lessen, big time, the amount of garbage that’s going into landfills in this province and for anyone who is concerned about the environment they should be supportive of. For sure, more efforts need to be made to reduce the tonnage going into them.

Peter Fenwick of the Bay St. George Waste Management Committee has pointed out his concerns with Industrial, Commercial and Institutional waste not having to be separated at the opening of the Sort-It program.

Although the Western Regional Waste Management Committee has said this sector in is no way exempt from the program, the fact is that so far they can send their waste to the regional transfer sites unseparated.

The committee is saying even though there is currently no specific start date at this stage for that sector, these entities will be brought into the Sort-It Western Program in the near future and that Western Regional Waste Management decided to first ensure a successful residential launch and concurrently do its due diligence with the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional sector before involving them into the program.

It doesn’t seem like a level playing field when residents have to go through the whole change at home but can let their debris be all bundled together at work. It would seem to make sense to have everyone start at it all at the same time.

There is no doubt there will be lots of concerns expressed and lots of frustrations for people as this program proceeds, especially when it comes to trying to keep the smell down in homes. One person who has been doing this program for years on the mainland suggests purchasing composting bags and putting scraps that will smell into it and place it in the freezer.

Take it out and place it in the garbage just prior to it being picked up and it will eliminate any problems with a foul smell in your home. Seems to work for that person and there’s lots people here have to learn when it comes to disposing of waste, but we’ll get there.

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