Today’s Editorial May 31: Garbage is everyone’s problem

We’ve become a throw-away society.

Don’t believe it?

Just take a gander at the ever-growing heap of garbage at the end of Seymour Drive.

It’s so massive it’s officially been dubbed Mount Trashmore by Minister Arden McLean.

We’ve been dumping and contributing to the waste at the George Town landfill for years.

Now it’s time to stop those bad practices and come up with alternative ways to get rid of our unwanted refuse.

Government is considering several options, including composting, generation of electricity from waste and recycling.

Whatever option they choose, it won’t be cheap.

Government will have to weigh the cost of collecting, recycling and providing households with recycling containers as well as the cost of specially designed vehicles for collecting recyclables and the cost of any sorting facilities.

But those considerations need to be weighed against the reduced cost of waste going to the landfill, money raised by selling recyclables to re-processors and the need for fewer garbage collection trucks to collect the reduced amount of rubbish headed to the landfill.

The above scenarios are just a drop in the recycling bucket, but those and other considerations need to be made when deciding which way to steer the garbage train.

While Government is wrangling – again – over what to do with our mountainous garbage issue we can do our part to help.

For starters, think about the other two Rs associated with garbage – reduce and reuse makes sense.

With no investment in resources you can place the plastic grocery bag in the bathroom garbage can and save a penny or so for some more pressing need.

Reducing and reusing are free market activities that are an absolute profitable investment of time and labour.

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of waste your household produces, for example:

Choose long-lasting instead of disposable items.

Choose products with minimal/recyclable packaging.

Buy in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging.

Mend broken items when possible.

There are many household items that can be reused around the home or given to another person to reuse. Here are a few places you can take unwanted reusable household items:

Books and magazines – hospitals, doctor’s waiting rooms, schools, kindergartens, second-hand book shops.

Toys – hospitals, doctor’s waiting rooms, kindergartens, opportunity shops.

Good used clothing and household items – opportunity shops, local church.

It’s great that Government is exploring ways to get the landfill under some sort of control.

We’re sure they’ll have to look at the fee system and enforce collection. Another area being looked at is the charge of a tipping fee to those who take rubbish to the garbage site.

The landfill, though, isn’t just a Government problem; it’s collectively our problem.

We need to start doing what we can to reduce the amount of waste we send to the dump.