Trash Talk #12 – Ditching Dumpsters for Livable Laneways

What’s wrong with this picture?

This is what the dumpsters that regularly occupy the lanes immediately west of Main St between 7th and Broadway, look like when you bring them all together for a big community party!  We were on-site at the Autumn Shift Festival this weekend to provide recycling for a great community event, but instead found ourselves surrounded by dumpsters.

Autumn Shift 9

If you care to count, there are 14 of them occupying 2 short lanes servicing just a handful of businesses. In the daily lives of BIA business members and the public living and shopping in the area, they present an uninviting
landscape in what could otherwise be a beautiful Livable Laneway!

These trashy eyesores are common fare in our city lanes (and in some cases, on our side walks).

Beyond being an undesirable blemish on public spaces that groups like Liveable Laneways would like to banish, in their efforts to transform, animate and re-claim these lanes for public use and interaction, these ‘one size fits all’ dumpsters can be a detriment to recycling, and undermine the numerous landfill bans that govern the region’s drive to zero waste.

Despite extensive by-laws and bans on ALL recyclable materials (from paper, cardboard, glass, metal and plastics, to electronics, batteries, mattresses, small appliances and more), a dive into any dumpster in the region is a discouraging slap in the face to public compliance and efforts to ensure the banned materials are kept out of the landfill.

Since 2005, Yaletown and Downtown Vancouver BIA’s have been fighting long and hard to ditch the dumpster cluttering their streets and lanes.

More than an eyesore and waste of public space, it’s time we realized the dumpster deal is doing nothing to help the public reduce waste and comply with our current recycling by-laws and landfill bans.

As is apparent in this photo, current cluster withstanding, it’s time to ditch the dumpsters if we want to get to Zero Waste!

Autumn Shift 10