Finally, there is recognition by City Hall that some residents have no storage space and cannot accommodate any size of bin: “In some extremely problematic situations, residents may require a bag system for collection“, quoting Ward 28 Councillor McConnell’s March 7 newsletter. Not surprising, considering the many compact houses that can found throughout Riverdale, Cabbagetown, Trefann Court, Chinatown and other downtown neighbourhoods.
To ensure exceptions to the unwieldy and unpopular big bins are applied consistently, wouldn’t a published set of criteria help? Something like this:
- an outside area sufficient for Cart storage at the side of the property, set back further from the road than the front door, or
- an outside area sufficient for Cart storage at the back of the property with direct access on the property, to the curb, or
- an outside area sufficient for Cart storage at the back of the property, with access to the back of the Property via laneway, and the distance from the back of the property to the street curb is less than 100 feet
- a garage at the front of the property which is sufficient in size to accommodate the Carts without removing the car.
2) If desired, a property is exempted if there are stairs, on the route from the Cart storage area to the street curb, such that the Carts cannot be easily wheeled.
Such written criteria would provide all residents with the same guidelines to follow, and reassure residents that the City is not imposing an unrealistic amount of extra hardship on some residents, to accommodate these bins. But the city won’t share its criteria, opting instead for an expensive and subjective process: requiring that a City Solid Waste employee representative conduct a site visit for every resident requesting an exception to the bins.
The official reason given for the new bins is “70% waster diversion”, but verbally, some City staff have hinted at cost savings as another reason, the benefit of semi-automated lifting and emptying of the bins:
– collection will be faster than the current system of bins and bags
– reduced worker injury (so fewer absences from work, reduced insurance claims)
Toronto is implementing a “user pay” system for waste management, so let’s demand a firm commitment from the Mayor that the annual increases in the fee for residential waste management will not exceed inflation.
Call the City at 392-2467, if you want an exemption from the new “blue bin” program