News by Professionals 4 Professionals

Needed: A drop & swap area

A longtime friend living just outside Edmonton, Alta., posted some pictures on her Facebook page with the explanation they had made their annual spring cleanup trip to their city dump and brought back some stuffies (stuffed animals) for her three labs to play with. The pictures were of the dogs enjoying themselves with their new toys, which she keeps in one piece for many months by frequent sewing sessions. The last picture was of her and her husband sitting back in their garden watching the dogs in two nice lounge chairs, also salvaged at the same time along with a matching table.

Lots of years left in these, was her comment, and all it cost was some soap and water!

Bravo to them money saved, plus their landfill was relieved of some material. Apparently their dump/landfill has a Drop & Swap area where, if you have things you no longer want but feel others could use, they can be left and then claimed by others. They regularly shop there for dog toys plus have picked up many other items such as the lounge chairs, things like garden tools, a wheelbarrow, solid wood chairs and side tables. I mentioned this to my sister, who has lived in an older town north of Toronto for some 30 years and she was not surprised at all. For as long as she can remember their city dump/landfill has the same such area but is signposted Recycle / Reuse.

She has actually seen the attendant at their landfill taking items from the dumping area to the reuse area, saying, It was too good to leave there! Now that is someone who believes in his job! She has seen the same sort of items there as in Alberta as well as building materials, kitchen cupboards, like new toys, bicycles, electronics, furniture, etc.

Now compare this to the response given our son a few Saturdays ago when he asked the security guard at the South Glengarry dump if he could throw a dozen or so 2×12-inch boards lying in the pile into his dump trailer. Someone had taken down a building and, once the nails were removed, there were tons of possibilities as to what this lumber could be used for. Instead of go ahead but watch the nails , what he did receive was instructions to call the township on Monday morning for permission to remove them! By the time that happened and he had travelled back to the dump they would, in all likelihood, have already been bulldozed, leveled and covered only adding to the problem. This at a landfill which, I believe, is operating on borrowed time.

Why can our South Glengarry landfill sites on Beaver Brook Road and just north of North Lancaster not do the recycle thing? All it would take is a posted area for people to leave things and we too could be in the business of seriously recycling, not just burying and at no cost to anyone. The security guard is already being paid tax dollars to prevent people from removing items, so merely have him change his focus to allowing people to take things and reduce the growing pile?

I know the naysayers on Oak Street will claim insurance concerns as the reason, but honestly, if other towns and townships can do it, why not us? Once upon a time, as when Peter Major managed our dump, items could be salvaged any time plus he would often give a hand to load. Obviously South Glengarry s recycling program has taken many steps backwards since then with the installation of chain-link fences and security guards and is now decades behind other progressive Canadian towns. It is about time we caught up and offered the same Drop & Swap service others do.

How sad no well-paid bureaucrats have had the foresight or imagination to do this here. Who knows, it might even save residents some money, with which they can pay their taxes!

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