Thursday, October 18, 2012

What we've got here is... failure to communicate.

Some men you just can't reach, so you get what happened here...

I definitely wasn't reached on this issue.

Update:  When checked on November 2nd, 2012, it appears that the City of Toronto has updated their waste wizard to include polystyrene. Hopefully, nobody else has to go through unnecessary garbage tags like we did because of bad communication.

Those who know me well, know that I can be pretty anal about certain things. One of the things I've been particularly focused on is our household garbage.  Whether it's reducing it or working out how to get rid of it most effectively, I seem to run into problems on a regular basis.

Here's the latest debacle in the series, which this time focuses on communication... or the lack thereof. 

The City of Toronto has a "waste wizard", which I use regularly to work out what can be recycled.  Anything that doesn't come up on it as recyclable, is assumed to be garbage.  As part of the ongoing drama since the City of Toronto invaded our basement via the vector of the storm drain system, we've been replacing furniture and this has generated a lot of expanded polystyrene.

So, I went to the waste wizard and punched in all of the following:

  • EPS
  • Polystyrene
  • Expanded Polystyrene
  • PS Foam
  • Furniture Packaging (and Furniture Packing)
  • Plastic Number 6 (and Plastic #6)

The above items all go to the "not found" screen, along with instructions on what to do or not do.  As you can see, the Plastic #6 should fail anyway, as Toronto doesn't use the number system used everywhere else in the universe.

So out went this weeks expanded polystyrene that won't fit in the bin, in a black bag along with the $3-plus garbage tag.  Along comes Mr Garbage Truck Driver who promptly ignores the bag (a frequently increasing occurrence).  Having bolted out my front door in my socks to stand there yelling up the road at the blind-as-a-bat driver after this, I went straight back in and complained to Toronto 311.  In the process of Toronto 311 dealing with this (again), they explained that EPS is recyclable.  


Having questioned whether this is correct, they redirect me to the above waste wizard. With my head ready to explode, I re-punch in everything I can think of, including the chemical composition ((C8H8)n), and still it doesn't come up.

Having thought about things for a minute, I decided to attack the problem differently. The City says not to use brand names, and the brand name for expanded polystyrene is "Styrofoam" (trademarked by the Dow Company).  

So I punched in "Styrofoam" even though I'm instructed not to.

[head explodes]