Sunday, February 3, 2008

Recycling Troubles

This weekend has been a great one for letting go of 'stuff' and sharing what's good with others. I've taken quite a bit of stuff to the consignment shop, a box of items and two bags full of grocery store bags to the thrift store, took down some recycling, returned all the pop bottles for their refund and left a bunch of stuff out for people to pick up, thanks to freecycle. I'd say that this was a productive weekend as far as not throwing away perfectly good things.

Now - on the down side, my city is failing rather badly in the recycling department. We have had two pick ups since December 18th. I live in the city of Surrey, B.C. and I can't believe what a terrible job they have done with the switchover of service providers. A new contract was awarded to International Paper, effective January 1st 2008. It appears that during the last two weeks of their contract, Waste Management decided not to bother fulfilling their contract, and the new company - over a month later, still can't do theirs.

As a tax payer and a person who feels very strongly about recycling, this situation disgusts me. I spoke to the person in charge on Thursday to find out what was happening. As we'd had snow, and I was fine with a delay due to this, I wanted to know when they would come. I was told that day. On Friday I was told that he'd dispatched "his" crew and they'd be there that afternoon. Well, it's now Sunday and they never showed. We've been given an assortment of excuses ranging from not having remotes to undergrounds, to them not being able actually enter the undergrounds (something that was never a problem for the previous company) I really have to ask - just how much does the City of Surrey care that my neighbourhood is paying for a service we're not receiving. Do they care that the bins are overflowing and that people are using the garbage instead now? Do they care that our tax dollars are paying someone to NOT do their job?

I applaud the decision to add things to our recycling stream later this year, but if it is done with the same finesse as changing contractors has been done, I'm already concerned that it will only result in chaos and, in the end, a terrible waste of resources.

So, to the City of Surrey, I say - Wake up! Get it right! Make these people accountable and make them do their job. This is affecting our planet and it's time you stood up and did something about it.

I'll be following up tomorrow. I've already left a message this weekend and I intend to see this through until we get the service we've had in the past.

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