Friday, September 29, 2006

More environmental events and RECYCLING info

So, I checked out an environmental event today and met up with some of the same people I've seen at previous events. Learned that Toronto has some good 'clean air' initiatives, probably to compensate for the horribly polluted air they have. One of the programs is that they will take old polluting cars from people, give them a tax rebate and a discount on a new vehicle (with better pollution controls, etc). Toronto's air quality is supposedly so bad partly because it is upwind from New York and Detroit.

I learned more about the recycling programs here too. The residential program has expanded it's single stream collection recently to now take cardboard canisters (like the frozen buns from Pillsbury dough, etc) in addition to the TONS of plastic containers already accepted that NYC doesn't. For instance, yogurt and tofu containers are accepted. They have a green bin program to take compostables including diapers, soiled paper plates and bags, and the typical food scraps. The green bin is picked up weekly, and recyclables and other 'trash' are every other week. On streets they have various bins including a "megabin" with separate sections for recyclables (single stream, remember), cigarettes, and other 'trash'. I'll upload pics soon! Compost and recyclables are dealt with locally - I don't know all the facts - and trash is trucked almost 400 miles to Michigan. Toronto just purchased a landfill in London, Ontario,(much closer) which they will begin using next year I believe.

Recycling in other public places such as parks is also pretty good. Bin types/styles are not always consistent, but are typically well placed. Not always used all that well, but overall very good!

Supposedly recycling in commercial buildings isn't very good. I haven't spoken to many people about it, so I'm not sure of the specifics. Supposedly paper AND bottles/cans are required by law in commercial buildings, but we all know what that means.

After the event I went back to the yoga class - it feels so cleansing!

Later that evening, before the sun went down, the clouds that had lingered all day disappeared and it became beautifully clear. I rode down to Exhibition Center (where the wind turbine was located), which I had passed many times but never ridden through as I wanted to wait until the weather was nicer. I took lots of pics of the turbine, which hasn't actually been working since I've been here. Either the wind is not consistently above 8.6km/hr or it's undergoing maintenance. There were educational signs set up around the turbine about wind power and a hydrogen power station nearby with info as well. Pictures forthcoming!

Tomorrow I'm volunteering with the Sustainable Living Network at the Green Energy Home Show. I'm excited to meet people from the Sustainable Living Network and volunteering for the day (which involves getting up at 6am) is the only way to get there as the train doesn't go!

Goodnight! : )

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