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Trash along trail near Maple Dr. in New Minas

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Published on Apr 24, 2012

In 2008, Valley Waste Resource Management began a policy of enforced garbage sorting and recycling. Garbage must be sorted into clear or blue bags and one black bag is permitted for personal. Garbage is picked up once every two weeks. If there is more than one black bag, it is left at the curb. If a clear or blue bag contains something which should have been sorted into another category, it is left on the curb with a sticker saying something was done wrong in sorting. The citizen is expected to take their garbage back, sort it better, and live with it for another 2 weeks.

In the video, we can see a trail which many people use to travel from Maple Dr. to the Country Fair Mall and Commercial street businesses. In the summer, much of the garbage seen is hidden by leaves. This video is taken just as leaves are starting to appear, and we can see more garbage than in the summer. A week before this, in the early days of spring, the area really looked like a dump.

People have come through here in other years and cleaned up the trail. However they clean up the obvious parts which are visible or accessible. The usual drink containers and take out bags are here as they would be anywhere, and these are often removed by people doing clean up in their neighbourhood.

In this video we can see garbage which goes beyond the usual trail trash. There are several years of garbage bags left here. I can see clumps of tin cans and bottles where the bag has long since disintegrated. Some seem to be 3 years old, others perhaps one year old, and there are several fresh from this year you can easily see in the video.

The purpose of the waste management policies is to keep recyclable garbage out of landfill. As we can see in the video, it is keeping all kinds of garbage out of the landfill but rather into the back country of the Annapolis Valley. This problem did not exist on this trail prior to 2008.

People responsible for our recycling policy should realize frustrated citizens are dumping garbage in the woods or burning it in barrels. If you only measure the policy success by the tons of waste going to landfill sites being reduced, you are missing the picture. The policies have the side effect of increasing garbage being dumped anywhere. There is a lot of back country, and no one knows how much of it is being polluted with garbage.

For more information on the waste management policies of Annapolis Valley, visit http://www.vwrm.com/

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