I just returned from my daily walk. Have you heard? Fifteen minutes of Vitamin D a day, keeps the doctor away. You will never guess what I found. A triple A battery thrown on the ground as though it were worthless. It confirmed for me right then that it’s time for part 2 of “Good Recycling can get better”.
On this brisk Sunday afternoon in December, I was already keeping the count in my head--and the count was high today. You see, this lack of a bottle deposit thing in Ontario has been eating at me for so long, that I keep a mental count without even trying, of how much money I could make if the deposit system were still in practice in Ontario. Today was about $3 and that’s without even venturing into the ditch. I’ve been stewing about this for so long, that I even have a very feasible idea for a fun video game the Ontario government can use to introduce the program. Gamer would search around a neighborhood, rural area, or building looking for recyclables. I’m picturing a really cool sound effect as you pick up the can and pop it in your sac. Of course a tally would be kept to tell you how well you’re doing. At the end, when you’ve finished your search you can use those points to create anything from a fleece jacket to a house. I think I could find someone to donate their time for this project—I have a few ‘techies’ in mind even as I write this.
This letter is going out to the hunters I know, the lovers of fishing I know, the beach going sunbathers, the hikers and the boaters. This letter is going out to every single one of us who loves to enjoy what grows out of the ground. This letter is going out to the farmers and the gardeners, the landscapers and the golf course owners. This letter is going out to every single one of us who profits in some way by what grows out of the ground. This letter is going out to every single one of us who breathes oxygen. To everyone who likes to smell the daisies and feel the grass between their toes.
The time has come where we have to stop using our whole planet as a garbage dump. That’s almost to imply that it would be better in one big pile, but that doesn’t work either does it? Where will the pile go? And let me remind you that our landfills are a mixture of organic and inorganic material. That means that more than half of the garbage will never decompose. It will never break down, never feed anything else, never even change its shape!
New Rule: Every manufacturer who sells a product in a non-bio-degradable container, should put a deposit on it. When we the consumers are done with said container, we return it for that deposit. Where do we return it? Well I’ll turn that over to the Government of Canada’s powers that be.
When my last letter was read by Ted Hsu MP for Kingston and the Islands, he said that "perhaps we could look at expanding the Ontario Deposit Return Program for bottles that currently applies only to alcoholic beverages". We already pay anywhere from five to forty cents on our bottles of alcohol. And we pay it gladly, because our Government has made it so. And that’s been a great success at over 85% return rate through the years!! Let’s expand that to aluminum cans and bottles with the end game being applied to every single piece of plastic and tin on the market. Is it too much to ask that the people who profit from the sale of products in recyclable containers be held responsible to some extent for what happens when it’s empty? I don’t think so. For the good of the sacred economy, we could even implement some tax breaks I’m sure.
Back to the beach-bunnies and kids who enjoy making sand castles in Picton, someday very soon it won’t be safe or enjoyable to do that. The hunters will have nothing to hunt, the anglers nothing to angle. The farmers and gardeners will find it ever more difficult to grow good crops. The golfers will have to golf on dirt—ouch! And the landscapers will be cutting lawns with wipper-snippers because the grass won’t grow like it used to. Oxygen? Can that be man-made?
For the sake of what grows out of the ground, please voice your desire for the implementation of a deposit system in Ontario.