Disturbingly, this is not the first time I observed a donation site turning into a community dumping site. It is not the first time I read about it either happening in other communities. In Aurora, by the Superstore, piles of non-textile waste in front of Canada Diabetes drop off boxes are often on display. Couches, hockey nets, kids playgrounds, furniture, you name it, it’s there.
“A donating initiative grew into a dumping issue.”
Some days when I drive by, the view is a real eye sore, it’s also a mind sore in that common sense rarely exists when it comes to dumping. Since it is hard to blame anonymous donors, the mess on display at the Superstore parking lot is really on us, on our community. Who are you going to blame, anonymous dumping donor Mr. or Mrs. Doe who can’t hear us? It would be unfair to scold Canada Diabetes or Superstore for the mess for their goodwill initiative, sadly a donating initiative that grew into a dumping issue.
Revenue earned by Canada Diabetes from their environmental initiative textile-waste diversion from landfills program, funds diabetes medical research. To further expand their revenue sources in addition to their textile waste home pick up program, Canada Diabetes set up designated textile waste drop off sites on many private commercial properties. It’s a goodwill program with continuous benefits, that is an environmental initiative that funds medical research and at the same time contributes to our lifestyle, making it healthier by helping us to de-clutter our closets.
For this diversion program to be effective people must follow the guidelines. Drop off clothing, shoes and other textile based products only. Everything else is garbage and imposes burden on the effectiveness of the system and even may cause liability issues for the property owners. Since Canada Diabetes, presumably, is responsible for maintaining these drop off sites, they are also responsible for all the non-textile garbage some decide to bring with their textile waste.
“People say I’m extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage?” ~ Imelda Marcos
It is unfortunate that even after improving and re-branding drop off bins at the Superstore corner parking lot, people continue to dump non-textile waste. The other day when driving by the mess again, I thought of the theme song from Bob the Builder, “can we fix it?” I believe we can. We can fix the dumping issue. The solution is very simple, follow the guidelines. However, the bigger question is can we fix people to stop thinking that sometimes giving extra, that is out of place, may not necessarily be a good thing to do. We are only displacing our own clutter and no longer effectively contributing to the solution, in this case to the textile diversion initiative.
Just a friendly reminder again, it’s a donation site, not a dumping site. Respect it. Making your clutter issue into someone else’s clutter issue just forces it to pass through more hands before it is diverted appropriately. Something to think about.
Anna Lozyk Romeo