Heartbreaking to find garbage hasn’t been collected

 In Opinion

In a small town newsroom, the joke is that garbage collection is really all people care about – and they don’t have much of a sense of humour about it. It seems like municipal governments can get away with anything if they just collect the darn garbage.

Even the most rational people start ranting when they come home to find the garbage, recycling and compost is still there at the end of the driveway, where it was carefully placed before dawn. Even the most rational people will lose their minds if on a windy day they come home to find said garbage and recycling is strewn across the neighbour’s lawn and wedged in their hedge (speaking from experience here).

These past few weeks have been particularly challenging. The County of Simcoe, who is in charge of waste collection in Clearview, issued a statement to those in the Friday collection zone. That’s us.

“Due to extreme cold and blowing snow conditions this past week, collectors were unable to complete all collections despite their best efforts. Unfortunately, crews will not return until your next scheduled collection day Friday, Jan. 12.”

“Those missed will have leniency on the bag limit this week. Alternatively, up to two bags of household garbage may be delivered to a County waste facility for free until Saturday, Jan. 13. Thank you for your appreciation of the challenges faced by collection crews and your continued patience as we work to catch-up.”

We try to be understanding but it’s challenging.

Some of us are going on Week 3 without garbage pick-up and buried blue boxes have become commonplace.

The curmudgeon in us thinks, it’s winter in the snowbelt and it’s the holidays, no one thought volume and weather may be an issue? (We don’t want to be grumpy about it, and we’re ashamed, but it just is.)

Everything was already messed up because garbage collection was delayed one day because of Christmas and New Year’s Day but a lot of people didn’t get the memo.

Putting out the garbage in -30 degree weather – the wind howling and catching the cardboard like a sail as you try to make it all the way to the curb without losing your load – is one of the worst household chores there is. You have to plan well, gather all the various elements of refuse, bundle up and make several trips to the curb with all the different vessels before balancing it on the snowbank. So to come home at the end of the day to find it all still there, only to have to bring it all back in, well, it’s heartbreaking. It’s better just to have the whole shebang swept away by the snowplough.

Let’s hope things settle down and we can get back on track with collection so we can clean out our bins. Now that the thermometre is on the upswing we won’t want to store this stinky trash much longer.

The county has an option online to get notices about waste collection. The fear is that the notice comes after the dreaded trek to the curb is done.

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