Posted in future, recycling

Landfills, the Final Frontier?


Although this idea came without the aid of drugs, think how much it might have been improved had I TAKEN some. In fact, the cartoon likely would not have even been drawn, had I taken some Benadryl. Puts me to sleep faster than a grade 10 math text book.

Straws are on the way out here in Vancouver, and elsewhere. They are an environmental hazard. With you-know-who (here’s a hint: it’s not Voldemort) leading the charge, all straws will soon be biodegradable. They will then be heading for the landfill and not biodegrading, thus changing nothing!

Why, you ask? (When, a few of you will ask, as well, as in when will the condescension end) Who here has put recycling in the wrong receptacle (me!)? I have been known to stand for hours, trying to work out which goes where, while silently weeping. You-know-who has led the charge in that area, providing receptacles for organic waste, paper, plastic, and I forget the other one: the miscellaneous bin? Very few companies, at the time of this writing (about 8pm) even provide this. McDonald’s provides a nice big garbage bin with a wide mouth, where EVERYTHING goes. Even half of that 64 oz soda that you couldn’t finish. That is why that lobby person is muttering under his breath.

Our living room floor on Christmas morning.

(dons teachers’ robe and pince nez, engages pedantic part of brain) The fact is that landfills need to be constantly compacted and squashed so as to allow the maximum waste. Similar to how you stomp down an overflowing rubbish bin. Sand, dirt, water, all are introduced into the landfill to better squash the endless truckloads of waste. (sorry, if you were enjoying your liver with a nice Chianti, Dr. Lecter) All the stuff that was thrown in the wrong bin (I’m looking at you, callow youth with smart phone in hand), EVEN an apple core, will not decompose properly.

It will remain in that landfill for years WITHOUT biodegrading because for that to take place, oxygen and light need to be present. Put those biodegradable straws in the PROPER receptacle or, better yet, carry around your own stainless steel straws. Carry them around in a hipster cigarette case, like that guy who carries his pool cue in a case, and no one EVER plays with.

Hey girl! Shift’s over in one hour.


I am no sanitation engineer, and I heard this second-hand from a city worker, so this is good to about ten decimal points. Few ever give a second thought to landfills and how they never seem to fill up. This is just as no one ever thinks about the ‘invisible industry’. Know what that is? Not those wonderful folks who clean hotel rooms. It is the rendering industry. That is, the processing of animal carcasses, after all the saleable meat has been extracted.

The enemy of recycling is a lack of convenience. We are unwilling to go too far out of our way to save the planet, to use that hackneyed phrase. I am guilty of that, as much as the next guy. Unlike other countries, like Japan, and Scandinavian countries, we are not indoctrinated in the art of recycling where it has become second nature out of necessity – lack of land space. Do you think the Mars space program is all about seeking new frontiers? New frontiers of landfill space, perhaps.

This is a body of water known collectively as the ‘ocean’. Hidden within are staggering quantities of garbage. And individuals with concrete shoes. There will never be a James Cameron documentary about it. There is also a massive continent of plastic that voyages around the globe like a malevolent cruise ship. God help us.

The point is, recycling is expensive because of all the personnel needed to correct our mistakes, (i.e., putting the apple core in the paper bin) and a lack of education. Along with mental health education, I believe that environmental concerns should be mandatory in schools from K to 12. Perhaps they are, in the more progressive schools.

Life is easy, kids. The hard part is the constant recalibration.

I’ll get off my soap box now (which I will break down and recycle) – my kids are used to my moaning about recycling. It is a hope of mine that I too might be recycled, when the time comes, though I would draw the line at rendering. I refuse to be fertilizer!

Thanks for reading these bleatings. Comments, as always, are welcome, and given the star treatment they deserve. How about those jokes you recycled at the barbecue?