Every Tuesday is my collection day. The calendar the City of Toronto sends out every so often says my trash should be on the curb no later than 7 a.m. on scheduled pickup days.
To be honest, I never found out about this until I finally decided to look carefully at the calendar following a close miss on collection day. I usually refrain from putting my garbage out the night before, because the raccoons in my neighbourhood are a rambunctious group known for tipping over bins and scattering their contents. And I’ve been burned before, picking up the scattered rotten mess at 7 in the morning.
When I lived near Runnymede Station, garbage collection was on Wednesday, which meant I had to carry all the waste I’d built up from my partying on the weekends.
Now I live near the Toronto Zoo in a part of Scarborough where my green, blue and garbage bins are emptied right after the weekend.
Great, but I want more out of my waste management. I want schedules of collection times made available to residents so we can all better know when the trucks will arrive curbside.
I know the garbage collectors usually come around my block early in the morning, but it’s not always consistent. It’s usually in the hourly range of 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Once in a while, they even come around 2 p.m. That’s not good enough for me. If there isn’t a set time when we can expect garbage collection at our homes, city council needs to make it happen.
The TTC and GO Transit have fairly accurate up-to-the-minute bus schedules for commuters, and traffic reports on news outlets like 680News and CP24 can forecast travel times almost down to a tee. It shouldn’t be any problem for the city to give residents more accurate notifications when they can expect their waste management trucks to come by. If they did, I wouldn’t have had such a close call on the aforementioned morning.
That day, I had a hunch that they’d be coming a little closer to 8:30 a.m. Maybe it was intuition, my sixth sense. More likely, it was my laziness to get out of bed that made me delay taking the green bins to the curb. When I finally got up, I was getting ready to disrobe and shave my face when I heard the sound of a large truck. I knew it was them and they were probably a little relieved that my green bins weren’t on the curb yet.
That’s when I threw on a pair of shorts and hauled ass like I’d never done before. You see, I’ve had weeks where I’ve forgotten to take out the garbage for collection and trying to find a place to store my excess waste is no easy task. I wasn’t about to let the upcoming week become another one where I struggle to properly dispose of my soup bones and apple cores.
When I ran out, ready to drag those bins, I realized a big bag of garbage was left in my kitchen. So I raced inside, grabbed the heaping bag, bolted outside and put the trash in the bin. The stars were aligned and the heavens smiled upon me. Lady luck was on my side. I couldn’t be denied, not after all of that.
With a green bin in each hand, I ran 20 feet just as the big garbage truck rolled up. There, I watched them, as their heads sunk low, emptying my green bins. I wanted to point, laugh, and gloat, all while thrusting my hips in a pejorative fashion.
I felt like I’d won that day. But that was until I realized that it shouldn’t have come down to that, which is why I think more accurate waste collection schedules are needed.
Or you could just put your garbage out at 7 a.m. and be thankful you have pickup. Raccoons are generally nocturnal so once its morning you should be safe. By the way your apple cores would be best in a backyard compost pile. No depending on the city to pick them up and much more energy and cost effective.