Trash

I have always been interested in what people through away. What they chose to throw out says so much about whom they are and at what point they may be in their lives. At one time the items sitting out by the curb were coveted; they were sought out, bought and loved and yet those same items somehow ended up out there as a casualty of a consumer driven society that preaches “What you have is good but what I have is better. You really need to get what I have”. So now we have trash and what we choose to do with it also says something about who we are. Waste management is a huge issue in Toronto. During this investigation I went to various trash facilities in southern Ontario and was amazed at the vast differences in the systematic and organizational institutions in place to deal with our trash. At one end of the spectrum is Powassan, just south of North Bay, it is a basic landfill site with minimal attention towards recycling materials. At the other end of the spectrum was Gravenhurst where there was a huge effort to minimize items headed to landfill and a concentrated effort towards recycling.  My planned visit to the facility in Bradford was cut short because no one there would allow me to take photos of their organized chaos. The two sites that I visited in Toronto landed somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. I had to hide my motives at the Commissioners Street location but the Ingram Drive facility was very accommodating. Ultimately our relationship with the environment is evolving and although social consciousness and individual responsibility is growing, we need to recognize that our individual actions have a huge collective impact for better or worse.

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