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Together on trash

Re: Garbage confusion (Editorials, Nov. 1). Life in Winnipeg is good. There is no devastating Hurricane Sandy on our shores and fewer economic challenges than in Europe and other parts of the world.

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This city's biggest challenge seems to be the efficient management of the "science" that is garbage collection and disposal. As with the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, should the city bring educators together to facilitate the teaching of garbage management?




Re: Emterra, city both dirty in garbage mess (Oct. 29). The waste and recyclables collection company should fulfil its contractual obligation. I would recommend two things, however, that Winnipeggers can do to assist in the collection process.

Residents who usually have a half-full bin or less of garbage or recyclables should put out the bins every second week. Also, with recyclables, residents should squeeze down plastic food and beverage containers, and collapse all cardboard boxes to reduce the volume of the recyclables and possibly get onto a two-week cycle.

Of course, if a resident is physically incapable of moving a heavy full bin, especially in the winter, then he should maintain the one-week cycle.




In addition to Emterra's seeming inability to pick up waste and recycling in a timely way, there is a systemic problem with how pickups are done.

We are instructed to put out our waste and recycling bins at least an arm's length apart. When Emterra's trucks pick up and empty our bins, they keep moving. As a result, the first bin picked up is placed back down in a different place. I have seen a waste bin picked up, emptied and set down adjacent to the recycling bin, which has not yet been emptied. The required separation has been eliminated by Emterra's actions.

I live in a condominium complex. Because our roadways do not have curbs, we place short steel rods with orange paint along the edges of our roadways to show our snow-clearing contractor where our lawns begin.

These rods were placed out recently. On our last pickup day, Emterra knocked over a large number of the rods throughout our complex by picking up bins which were put out at least a metre away from the nearest rod and setting them back down on top of the rods.

We are told that we are responsible for placing our bins properly. Unfortunately, Emterra's pickup technique is a large part of the problem.




Last year we spent two months in Christchurch, New Zealand. We rented a house and had three colour-coded bins -- one each for rubbish, recyclables and organics. The larger rubbish and recyclable bins were picked up on alternate weeks and the smaller organics bin, which could also have yard waste, was picked up every week.

The pickup was automated, and it appeared as if one person was needed to handle the operation. Your Oct. 25 picture goes a long way to explaining the problems Emterra is having with collection. Using antiquated equipment, which still requires a great deal of manpower to collect the rubbish, and providing paper bags for yard waste are definitely not state-of-the-art systems for waste management.

It might be beneficial to contact the city of Christchurch to inquire about its system of garbage collection. The waste-management system worked like clockwork even during earthquakes, which were almost a daily occurrence there. I can only imagine what Emterra's system will be like when it gets to be -40 C here.




I have only seen or heard negative stories on the new garbage service, so I would like to give some positive input. Since the start of the new service, my garbage has been picked up on time every time.

This morning I happened to be in the lane when they picked up, and the young man on the back of the truck shook my hand and introduced himself to me without missing a beat. Thanks, Will, you are doing a great job.



Tiresome pandering

It is tiresome the way you pander to the NDP through headline writing in your paper. The Oct. 31 story Health costs rising slowest since 1997 may be true, but it is totally misleading with the use of such funny grammar.

Upon reading the article, one does not need to be a genius to compare Manitoba's costs to Canada's and discover that in all but one age group (5-9) we are higher, substantially in a number of groups, than the Canadian average.

Further, you report that Health Minister Theresa Oswald is doing good work by not having as large an increase as usual. It seems that Oswald has a great deal to answer for if all she can manage is a small slowdown of annual cost increases when she is so obviously so far ahead of the pack.

Your headline would have been more in tune with reality if it had read "Manitoba Health fails again."



Losing track of purpose

Re: Transitway route on the map (Oct. 29). The apparent decision to build the second phase of the Southwest Transitway on a detour far west of Pembina Highway indicates the city has completely lost track of the purpose of a rapid transit system. The primary purpose is to alleviate automobile congestion on a current feeder road that is becoming more of a problem as traffic increases.

In most cities around the world, the rapid transit system would be built over, under or beside the problem traffic artery on a separate grade. The purpose is to serve the people living along the route or near to it so they can use rapid transit instead of their car.

The decision to build the route that detours far away from the problem to save money is faulty from the start. It does not solve the problem and is based solely on saving costs and possible future development along the right-of-way. Saving costs should not be the priority for major infrastructure that is intended for several generations of use.

One of the reasons given for not using the Letellier option (along Pembina Highway) is there is little room for new construction along this route. In any other city where this has been done, the existing properties are demolished and replaced with larger condos and apartments to take advantage of the rapid transit. Why Winnipeg has not already studied this successful plan in other cities is hard to understand.

The ironic fact is the Letellier route will probably have to be built anyway a few years down the road to correct the problem the current proposal is completely ignoring.



A big musician

Noel Gallagher comes into Winnipeg on Oct. 30 and by all accounts pulls off a masterful gig. But you wouldn't know it by reading the Winnipeg Free Press.

No coverage, except for a picture, of arguably England's biggest musician. Apparently selling 70 million albums is considered too small-time for Winnipeg.

The Free Press normally has excellent local coverage, which is the main reason I read it every day. But I was disappointed by this omission.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 2, 2012 A15

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