I recently went to the landfill. When I pulled up to the transfer bins, a woman was emptying a truckload of perfectly good furniture into the bin beside me.
She dumped leather chairs, a desk, a coat rack and clothes that had never been worn. Instead of taking it to a thrift store, she’d driven further and paid to dump it.
I was incredulous at this wastefulness, but when I mentioned it to the traffic marshal he told me it’s not a rare occurrence. He said this was common and he was routinely astounded at the perfectly useful items going straight into the landfill.
He had even seen people throw money — that’s right, jars of silver — into the bins.
This is shameful and needs to stop.
Unfortunately, we can’t tell people who are so entitled with material wealth what to do with their money. However, we need to empower the marshals at our waste facilities to
divert goods back into the community.
The City of Kamloops needs to find a creative solution to this problem. There are numerous charities and thrift stores willing to sell items if City managers create a policy ensuring useable items are recycled.
Another issue this raises has to do with the Kamloops economy.
The argument that inevitably arises supporting the proposed Ajax mine is that we need it “for the sake of the economy.”
I see lots of wealth in Kamloops. I see plenty of big trucks and luxury cars on the roads. I see RVs and recreational toys in driveways and people throwing away perfectly good
Maybe we should re-think what we need from and for the economy. Do we want more and bigger vehicles and toys, bigger houses and TVs? Do we want the luxury of throwing away things others could use?
I know there are people who would rather be working but aren’t. Things are tough for many people across the country. But I don’t buy the argument that we need to compromise our air and water for higher and higher levels of material wealth.
Ours is a level of wealth that’s insulting to millions of people on the planet who live with very little.
Why don’t we try living within our collective means; maybe even sharing the wealth and sharing employment? Why don’t we look at what we really need before we bend over for the corporate and political illusionists who tell us we have to expand resource extraction to satisfy the needs of the economy?