It might sound strange, but I’m thankful for composting. I’ve participated in a variety of levels of composting: I’ve done it at home, in a more collective setting, and I’ve reaped the benefits of urban composting here in Toronto. At all levels, composting helps to reduce the material going to landfills. The practice helps the environment, and reminds us of the more natural processes that evolved to take care of waste long before human beings came on the scene. All it takes is a bit of effort to separate organic material that can be composted, and here in Toronto we have an urban composting system that will take those wastes and compost them.

But I can’t participate. I live in a townhouse where the management doesn’t collect organics separately. We identify recycling, but not compostables. I’ve waited for years to be able to participate in Toronto’s “green bin” project, but to no avail. I do separate my organics: I either take them to Maloca Garden to be composted, or to a friend who owns a house, and who can therefore participate. Or dump it in the regular trash: not because I’m lazy but because I have little choice. Currently most of my work separating is for naught.

Recently our mayor, John Tory, went to Paris to talk about climate change. Upon his return he decided to phase out the largest of the garbage bins used for collection, since, “according to city solid waste staff [that bin] is mostly used by lazy homeowners to throw waste that could either be recycled or composted.” (Inside Toronto, 2015). Although I appreciate his effort, I would think that it might go over better if our mayor took steps to make sure everyone could participate who wanted to, rather than forcing those who are too “lazy” to participate when they don’t want to.

8. I’m thankful for Toronto’s composting program: I just wish I could participate.

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