Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/9/2012 (2801 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg, we have a problem!
The problem is this: What to do with the thousands of blue boxes that will be rendered obsolete in October when the city finishes rolling out its new automated garbage and recycling carts?
The solution: When the going gets tough, the tough hold a contest.
Which is why I'm delighted to announce I am part of the solution, in the sense I have agreed to be one of the judges for the Simply Recycle Blue Box Photo Contest in which you have a chance to win a swell prize in exchange for submitting photos showing creative new uses, other than recycling, for your soon-to-be-outdated blue boxes.
I'd like to take credit for this contest, but, sadly, I cannot. It's the brilliant idea of Multi-Material Stewardship Manitoba Ltd., which is an industry-funded, non-profit group that funds and oversees Manitoba's recycling programs.
"The thing people don't realize is that MMSM funds up to 80 per cent of the net costs of your recycling programs," is how Sarah Wallace, communications, promotions and education co-ordinator for the group, explained it to me.
"If you look at your brand-new automated cart, our logo is plastered all over it. Our goal is to educate the public to make better choices about reducing, reusing and recycling. We want to get people excited about recycling."
Speaking about getting excited, let's get back to the contest, wherein you can win a swell prize, such as an iPad.
It all started because Winnipeg is replacing its estimated 500,000 blue boxes by next month as part of a plan to get residents to recycle more and throw out less.
Sarah said the goal is for us to dream up unique ways to give our beloved blue plastic boxes a new lease on life instead of pitching them out or turning them over to the city.
"We created the contest to get homeowners to think of other uses for their blue boxes than recycling," she told me. "Blue boxes are owned by homeowners, so they shouldn't be giving them back to the city or sticking them in landfills. There are some really great uses for these cute little boxes.
"You could use it for a planter in your backyard. You could make a little garden or a firewood holder. Maybe people will use them to transfer recyclables from their homes to the big automated carts. Or use them for storing household items. We want people to think outside of the box."
Here's what I want you to do:
Step 1: Think up a cool new way to use your old blue boxes;
Step 2: Take a picture of your genius creation;
Step 3: Go to www.simplyrecycle.ca, click on the Blue Box Photo Contest button, enter the contest, upload your photo and then relax and check out all the other entries. Helpful tip: Don't send your photos to me.
For the record, to enter you need to be a Manitoba citizen, older than 13 and have a Facebook page. The deadline for posting photos at www.simplyrecycle.ca is Sept. 30. "The contest ends on the 30th because the new garbage and recycling program starts on Oct. 1," Sarah helpfully pointed out.
The top-five entries, based on online votes, will be forwarded to an elite judging panel consisting of Frankie Hollywood from Energy 106, Adam West from 103.1 Virgin Radio and me.
The grand prize is a nifty new third-generation iPad, while second prize is a $50 gift certificate for Mountain Equipment Co-op. Winners will be notified by email.
I can think of several uses for these old containers. For starters, you and your buddies could collect all the old blue boxes in your neighbourhood and stack them as high as humanly possible in the manner of those awesome beer-cup snakes they used to make in the stadium before having fun was ruled illegal.
Slap wheels on them and they'd make great economy cars for pets. How about condominiums for turtles? Look, you've got a few days to play around here, people. So get snapping. Come up with something new and creative if you want, but, personally, I think you might have more luck recycling something old.
Doug has held almost every job at the newspaper — reporter, city editor, night editor, tour guide, hand model — and his colleagues are confident he’ll eventually find something he is good at.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.