Tag Archives: london

London Ontario: Home of the Intolerant

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London, Ontario has done what no other city could do:  be the first city in Canada to boot Occupiers from public property.

What a shame.

The question that will be on everyone’s minds:  what’s next?

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure about the claim to occupy in this small south-western Ontario town, but the reality is this:  those that run the city keep pushing ahead with boondoggles that are going to (a) break the election promises of Joe Fontana and (b) keep wasting taxpayer dollars.

So, in answer to my own question, ‘what’s next’:  we have to continue to send the message that this kind of waste and crony capitalism is unacceptable.

Most uneducated quote of the day

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I live in London, Ontario and the local council just made an extremely embarassing decision to NOT proceed with the collection or compostable waste .  The City of London will be one of the last cities in Ontario to have a green-bin recycling program, and this is already on top of our embarassing record with respect to regular trash pickup (every 6 business days, not a regular cycle).

Normally, I do everything I can to rave up my home town, but the folks that currently lead the City of London have failed to get with the 19th century and it’s going to cost all of us substantially in the long run (and most likely in the short run as well).

When local councillors declare things like the following , I hang my head in shame:

‘A head of lettuce, a pumpkin or that chicken you ate last night, it collapses onto itself, it decays, it doesn’t take up that much space at the landfill.’

~ Ward 10 Councillor Paul Van Meerbergen explaining one of his reasons for opposing the Green Bin program on Steve Garrison’s London-in-the-Morning Show on Newstalk 1290-CJBK-AM, Nov. 17, 2008.

From altlondon.org:  "With such homespun wisdom, Paulie would have made an outstanding minister of agriculture in Stephen Harper’s government — if only he had been elected in London North-Centre."

Here’s the full story from the London Free Press:

Recycling delay trashed
Wed, November 19, 2008
London’s roomy landfill, with 15 years left before it’s full, has stalled several recycling programs


Green bin, yellow light Council shows true colours Garbage: pay now, or pay for it later Faster green-bin start urged Mayor worried about timing of diversion plan

Nearly 20 years ago, London was one of Ontario’s last cities to start a recycling program.

Today, it looks again like London will be one of the province’s last major cities to start a green bin program for kitchen scraps.

Then, as now, it had one thing other cities didn’t — a large landfill.

Unlike places such as Toronto, Hamilton, Peel and Niagara — all of which started green bin programs because they had limited landfill space — London isn’t under the same pressure to do so because it has 15 years of life left before it’s full.

The space has become the subject known to all but rarely mentioned when new recycling and composting programs are discussed at city hall.

"They know there’s not an immediate threat to space and we’re not in the same position as other cities," said Stephen Turner, chairperson of the Urban League of London.

He warns the city’s complacent attitude is "a dangerous way to govern.

"This has been put off for quite some time," Turner said of the green bin program.

The province asked municipalities to divert 60 per cent of waste from landfills by 2008.

"Here we are at the end of 2008 and the city is just starting to talk about what we can do to reach that goal," Turner said.

Turner added the economy is being used as a scapegoat by councillors balking at the program.

Councillors voted Monday to have city staff come up with a business plan outlining the projected costs of the green bin program and reducing the number of garbage pickups.

The city’s waste-diversion rate is 40 per cent. The green bin, when fully implemented, could divert 22,000 tonnes of table scraps from the landfill, increasing the city’s waste-diversion to 55 per cent.

"They don’t view it as a crisis, but to wait until a crisis is circling is the wrong step and that’s when it’ll cost you a lot more," Turner said.

Because the city isn’t in a crisis, it can take the time to make wise decisions, said Jay Stanford, the city’s environmental director.

"We can learn from all the other municipalities and put in place here best practices," he said, adding the green bin program would create capacity in the landfill.

Controller Tom Gosnell, who was on council at the time the blue box program was added, said the green bin would only divert a small amount from the landfill and the city should instead boost its recycling.

"The green box is sort of an ideological tool. It’s a reminder that we have to do diversion . . . but I think we need to look at it in a much bigger way than just focusing on green boxes."

It’s the same argument critics of curbside recycling made in the late 1980s before the city instituted its blue box program in 1990.

When the city launched a $20,000 recycling study, some argued the program, if successful, would only divert less than one per cent of waste from the landfill, adding 10 days to its life during five years. Others said it was destined to fail.

The city’s landfill on Manning Drive was supposed to close in 2006, until the city extended its life.

Gosnell said the province has a responsibility to show leadership on the issue.

"Sure they give directions to divert, but they don’t give really too many good ideas on how to do it."

Coun. Susan Eagle said council knows the issues and its constituents, and shouldn’t wait for the province to lead. She said the city should move more quickly on waste diversion.

The environment was a priority for Londoners when she was campaigning two years ago, and though the economy has usurped that, the two were not separate things, Eagle said.

"They’re integrated. . . You don’t do one at the expense of the other. You omit one at the expense of the other."


– South of Highway 401 on Manning Drive

– Opened in 1977

– Set to close in August 2006, before the city extended its life

– About 15 years left before it’s full

– In 2007, the city sent 225,000 tonnes of garbage to the landfill, including sewage sludge.

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