Monday, October 23, 2006

There was an interesting event at MaRS on the weekend: Alphabet City: Garbage Town Hall.

You can get some context about the event from this article, written in UofT's The Varsity:
Fixing Toronto's trash dilemma.

Now, I was at a wedding over the weekend, but this is something that interests me. I really DO want to know what's happening to our garbage.

Sadly, when I went to "" there was a blog error and I can't read the proceedings.

I find it odd that so many people are so blase about their trash. They don't even think about it. It goes much further than just junk mail or boxes or apple cores. I think it has a lot to do with our rampant consumerism.

Think about it: if you need to buy that cooler phone or that nicer couch, then you're going to throw out that old one. Now, this is perfectly fine if your phone or your couch is broken. Not so fine when it's because the new one is just cooler.

We think: I can afford that.
We think we can afford it because we've saved up a couple hundred bucks.

But we're not being charged for the disposal of the old one - for the resources that we are putting out of commission just to consume another. (To be clear: I realize the taxes we pay taxes are for just this sort of thing. I don't think this blanket tax system sufficiently forces us to consider the impact of our actions.)

I strongly believe that the government should make "disposal of the old" a factor in our consumer behaviour. There are many ways to accomplish it (taxes, polluter-pays, incentives, etc).

But it's not popular. So what politician who wants to be elected (or re-elected) will impose such measures?

It's a sad story that can only be fixed by tax payers asking for the penalty. And how many people are going to ask to pay more?

Discouraging situation.

I'd like to know what this guy suggested as the answer in this talk. Or someday, we'll be drowning our neighbours and inevitably ourselves, in our own greed.

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