Thoughts on the Guelph Clean and Green Community Cleanup

Thanks to all who came out in the Royal City to celebrate Earth Day by helping to clean up our boulevards and public spaces.

Yesterday, along with a brave group of volunteers, I did a shift with Councillor Andy Van Hellemond collecting trash around Ward 2. Happy to say that it’s a pretty clean ward.

Like last year, it’s been very informative analyzing what gets thrown onto our boulevards. Here are the three worst offenders year in and year out for roadside waste:

#1 by a long shot in garbage:  cigarette butts. All of our green public spaces are totally covered with them. Much more than goose poop. Geese can’t help it. What about smokers? Why has it become part of smoking culture that it is ok to just throw your butts  out the window or drop them on the ground?  Does disregard for our natural environment go along with this habit? It’s so hard to figure out. Who should pay for this cleanup? It’s of such epic proportions that it seems like a tax either on manufacturers or consumers has to address this, or bigger fines if butt flingers are spotted.

2.Tim Horton’s Coffee Cups — After cigarette butts, this is the next biggest offender. The plastic cup lids don’t decompose at all and are a hazard. I filled garbage bags full of cups yesterday. Think of the cost to taxpayers for this cleanup. I believe that we need to encourage re-usable coffee containers by forcing Tim’s to charge heavily for the disposable ones, and the company should be contributing to the cleanup in a much more major way. Just like initiatives to ban plastic bags, I think we should envision the end of disposable cups. Want a take out coffee? Get a re-usable mug, or else.

3. Nestlé water bottles. They are everywhere. Don’t get me started  on this. This is the most un-necessary product anywhere. It’s the same water that comes from our taps. You can use a re-fillable bottle. Is there something about having a disposable bottle that makes us think we can just throw it on the ground?  Bottled water must go. The only way to really drive Nestlé out is to take away the market. They are marketing geniuses. They have convinced us that they can sell us our own water that we can get for free. They are threatening our aquifer. They have publically stated that clean drinking water is not a human right, it’s a marketable commodity. Don’t buy plastic bottles, please and thank you.

4. I’d like to know your thoughts on this.  Thanks … James


1 Comment

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One response to “Thoughts on the Guelph Clean and Green Community Cleanup

  1. mork

    Completely. DO NOT buy water in plastic bottles! Watch the documenatry “Tapped”. It is a well done documentary and very informative.

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