Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome to the life of recycling!

Today is garbage day here in Brampton where we live. Well, actually it was yesterday, but because Monday was a holiday, they pick up the garbage one day later than scheduled. Is that confusing? Wait till you hear this:

Coming from India, we were so used to throwing everything from food, to plastics to anything really into however many garbage bags we needed. We threw our garbage out everyday. We never seperated, sorted or recycled anything.

Welcome to Canada! We learned a new word here.....literally.....recycling.

We had a green bin, two blue bins and one large grey bin in our garage. We also had an organic bin under the kitchen sink and a garbage bin and a recycling bin in the kitchen. So during the week, any food waste from egg shells to the waste on your dinner plates goes into the organic bin under the sink. Garbage...that would include used tissues, food and chip wrappers, diapers (if you had any) etc would go into the black garbage bag. The recycling bin would be any paper bags, foil trays, cardboard, cans and bottles etc.

As we just moved into the house, we had a ton of carton boxes. Now, you can't just throw your boxes as they are....we learned that they had to be a minimum of three feet by three feet. So get out the knives and scissors and start cutting up or folding.

Once you have everything sorted, you carry it out to the garage and fill in the bins there. Organics in the green, recycling in the blue and garbage in the grey. Then you put out the bins along side your curb in front of your house, either after 7pm the previous night and before 7am the day of collection. You are allowed any number of green and blue bins, but only two garbage bags. If you want more, you have to go to the collection office, pay and get a token that you place on your extra bag.

Remember : They will open and check. If they find even a bit of plastic in your organics bin, they won't take it! Then you're stuck with smelly garbage for another week. So sort carefully and do your bit for saving valuable resources.

Yard waste, like cut grass and cut plants go into a brown bag and that is collected seperately.
Phew! By the time we did all this last evening, we were really tired. Then we had to keep our fingers crossed that they would actually take all the waste we left to be collected. They did!

If you have something like say an old appliance or furniture...you can actually just leave it outside your house in the front yard. Anyone who wants it will stop their car and pick it up. I learned that this is not a strange thing in Canada. Although, I just read in the paper that this is not really legal! Any old appliance left outside your house belongs to the City, who in turn will collect and sell the same for the metal and any recycleable parts....and use the money for the betterment of some public area. Last year the city of Toronto made over 12 million dollars on selling old appliances.

We also went online and checked the collection agencies website as to what exactly goes in what bin, and more importantly what does NOT.

We have been here just three weeks and already feel like we have learned enough to write a book! We still have to buy a car, admit our kids in school and start work. So stay tuned for a lot more info coming your way.

If there is anyone out there who would like more details on anything I've written please do write in!

1 comment:

lyel, lyelsawyer_83@hotmail.com said...

Hi
Its really wonderful and interesting to read ur experiences.
The way u r taking it each day step by step with detailed yet up to the point is wonderful.
I want to ask u more details abt the the Migration & Processing part. If u cld help me it wld be Great. I wld appreciate it.