Paying for our wasteful lifestyles

Would waste reduction finally sink in if people were forced to pay according to the amount of garbage they left at the curb?

Garbage plays a big part in our lives, when you stop and think about it, and not just because  of the Cache Creek Landfill.

As a child, I remember my mother teaching me not to litter, and my parents burning paper refuse in the fireplace and composting old fruit and vegetables.

As an adult, I recall taking garbage out to the bin behind the place I worked for in Fort St. John after my boss had shown me how to reduce the volume by compacting it as much as I could – by tucking smaller items inside of bigger ones, by flattening boxes and straightening out folded paper as much as we could. That was way before FSJ had a decent recycling program, and businesses were charged by volume for garbage collection. (After we tucked and flattened everything so that it was nice and neat, we climbed into the bin and jumped up and down on it a few more times for added compression!)

This is Waste Reduction Week in Canada, so let’s pretend just for a minute that you get charged by the volume for your waste disposal. Or not, because less garbage sitting at the curb in front of your house means less trips for the garbage truck, which means less taxes that you and your neighbours have to pay.

So, think about how you can reduce the amount of garbage you put out to the curb every week.

Not only does it result in reduction of garbage pickup, but it also lessens our reliance on landfills.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal