Editorial: Nothing simple about waste

The title above needs clarification. It’s actually the way waste is thought of these days that helps generate so many points of view in regard to how it’s handled.

When dealt with responsibly... with environmental factors taken into account in realistic balance with economic considerations, the practice of coping with our trash output becomes anything but the old ‘toss it and forget it’ mantra of the increasingly distant past.

To everyone’s credit, the concept of recycling has become ingrained in society. There may be still be violaters of the code but, in large measure, today’s rules are being followed. And it’s a good thing because with the formula of garbage output-per-person, in a steadily-growing population, it’s easy to see how we could be living in the shadows of rubbish mountains if something was not done.

The familiar slogan of ‘out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new’ is not necessarily the most sustainable course of action when it comes to products and materials, and neither is it in terms of rushing to replace the long-running blue-box program.

What’s needed is a careful and considerate examination of all relevant factors before a successful program is termininated in favour of another that has freshness and slick promotion on its side.

This topic is tackled at a couple of locations in this week’s issue. They’re worth a look, and a thought about how clearly impacted (in some cases, negatively) various interests can be if the blue-box program was to go ahead as planned this spring.

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