Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Time to clean up and regain our back lanes

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An Emterra team collects garbage in Wolseley in this 2012 file photo. Those who worked collecting garbage and recycling this past winter deserve our thanks, our columnist says.

PHOTO BY SONYA BRAUN Enlarge Image

An Emterra team collects garbage in Wolseley in this 2012 file photo. Those who worked collecting garbage and recycling this past winter deserve our thanks, our columnist says. Photo Store

I must say, having those mammoth snowbanks gone sure makes garbage day much easier. I don’t miss having our bins perched precariously on small mountains or fighting to roll them down a tight path of uneven terrain. Our alley is looking slightly better, too.

So many people down our back lane never bothered to return the bins to their yards, even in good weather, but especially as the snow deepened. The result was always unsightly and sometimes annoying when the tilting bins tipped over into traffic. Some alley cleanup will be necessary this spring.

Would I wish to return to the auto-bins or find a new system? No.  

Our back lane never has been pretty.  Open, overflowing auto-bins and dumped garbage were a problem. And bin fires.  While that problem hasn’t been entirely erased, it no longer happens to us.

What I like about the new garbage collection system is that it discourages outside dumping (that is, contractors, landlords, and others too lazy to use a landfill, dumping their waste in our bins).

I like that the city chose a company with less-noisy, more environmentally-friendly trucks. I like that garbage day stays on the same day every week. I like the bigger bins for recycling. I don’t know what it’s like in the rest of the city but I have no complaints about pick-up either. We’ve had great service.

I’m not sure why people are calling for an end to Emterra’s contract. We’ve had the longest and coldest winter in over a century, with crazy amounts of snow. We should be thankful for those Emterra employees who walked behind the trucks, fought with bins on snowbanks all winter long, and braved the ruts and lakes in spring so that our garbage was disposed of.

Now that warmer weather is here and we can get outside and enjoy it, let’s do our part to clean up our communities. And if you see a garbage collector, be sure to say a hearty thank you.

Tips and dates for clean-up from the William Whyte Resident’s Association:

• Clean up your yard whether you rent or own the property;
• Pick up trash off the boulevard, even if it is not yours;
• Pick up trash off your block;
• Bring in garbage/recycling carts after pick-up;
• Don’t put waste out until night before collection time;
• Report illegal dumping to 311.

A community cleanup in William Whyte will take place May 23, with registration at 607 Selkirk Ave. from 8 to 10 a.m. with a barbecue lunch included.

Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for the North End. You can contact her at sonyajoy@gmail.com

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