Every time a right-of-centre “sensible” politician suggests burning trash I want to scorch the garbage bag that held this putrid inanity.
Like, the fuck. We don’t need to burn garbage. We need to make less of it. Why do we still have to explain this in — checks notes — 2023?
This debate is coming back again, like the ghost of Pierre Trudeau in Quebec’s Bye-Bye shows (if you know, you’re laughing right now), to once again force everyone to go around the same old stale smelly limp-ass arguments for no good reason.
This time, it’s Councillor Allan Hubley: “Let’s look at our waste strategy, what we are going to do to handle garbage in the future, let’s look at all the options on the table and give council a report this fall on what they are,” he said. “What can be implemented right away? What is promising, coming up the pipeline that should be considered?”
I’ll tell you what’s promising and can be implemented right away. Aiming for Zero Waste.
I’m too much of a crusty old wizened realist to think we could achieve zero waste literally. But could we at least, I don’t know, try to aim for it?
And yet here in Canada we’re doing so much better than in other places. I spend a lot of time in the United States, as my regular reader knows, particularly in Southern states. Alabama, to be precise. Where you find plastic straws, as many free plastic bags as you like with your groceries, like in the before times, styrofoam containers for take-out food and drinks that we in Canuckistan haven’t seen since the Spice Girls felt fresh and original, and did I mention not everyone recycles?
So, yeah. We’re better up here. But better than gawdawful isn’t the same as good. When I hear people like Hubley say you know what we need guys, it’s to burn trash and use the energy I have to staple my eyeballs into place to stop them from rolling clean out of my head.
Please, for the love of the earth, stop telling people it’s OK to continue being lazy, technology will save us. It’s the Elon Musk theory of community building and it don’t work.
If you’re interested in real knowledgeable expertise on the subject, you could do worse than read this comprehensive piece from the New York Times that features several experts on the subject. Let’s just say the evidence isn’t clear that waste-to-energy is the answer. My own reasonably-educated opinion is that highly-efficient burning is marginally less atrocious than burying the junk. But both options are terrible.
The solution is to produce less waste and throw out less stuff. But that sounds like effort so you won’t find a sensible politician anywhere insisting on it.