Well, those days are long gone in Mayor David Miller's Toronto. In fact, take a beer bottle or pop can out of the garbage bin on the curb - and the city will fine your butt up to the tune of $360 dollars. Good luck collecting getting the bag ladies to shell up or PJ and his imaginary friend. The Globe and Mail reports:
TORONTO — Starting the evening before recycling day and often working all night in neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, scruffy-looking scavengers armed with dilapidated shopping carts sift through the city's blue bins, grabbing beer and liquor bottles to return for refunds.Apparently, city council has set-up to have by-law enforcement officers conduct a scavenger blitz to paper everyone caught scavenging at the curbsides with fines come November. The City seems to be at great pains to let us know scavenging is not just bag ladies, kids and the mentally ill.
It's a trade that city officials are planning to stamp out.
They may seem mostly harmless, but the view from city hall is that these scavengers are costing taxpayers money by stealing material – especially valuable aluminum cans – that the city would otherwise sell to recycling firms. And the head of the city's solid waste department, Geoff Rathbone, told The Globe and Mail the city plans to act as early as this fall.
"A lot of people tend to think it's providing cash to homeless individuals, whatever, but from a solid-waste perspective, we do want to crack down on it," Mr. Rathbone said, acknowledging that the city does not yet have a firm estimate on how much money scavengers are costing the blue-bin system.
City officials say they actually have to pay $12.50 a tonne for a private company to process the city's mixed, broken glass so it can be recycled. However, the city stands to lose money from the scavenging of aluminum cans, the most valuable of its recyclables, which it sells for more than $2,000 a tonne.
Under consideration, he said, is an enforcement blitz by city bylaw inspectors, who currently have the authority to issue a $360 ticket to anyone caught sifting through or taking garbage or recyclables left by the curb. While the city did not have statistics Wednesday, it is believed that very few such charges are ever laid.
I say, 'So what?' I mean, should we not be actively promoting this kind of work ethic rather than trying to 'stomp out' a trade? I realize the term 'work ethic' is often considered a cuss word among socialist regressives like Miller et al, but really - it is far too hard to imagine garbage pickers as the new 'crack dealers' – that ethos just ain't gonna play for me.
I would like to point out to Mayor Miller and city councilors, that as a residence of the city of Toronto, I already pay for garbage pick-up regardless of whether or not the City can turn an extra dollar on 'recyclables'. Turning a buck on recyclables is a gravy and not meat and potatoes issue.
There really is a very peculiar sense of priorities coming from Toronto City Councilors these days. The councilors seem to just go merrily along with any half-baked regressive idea, and yet, balk fiercely at any measure designed to crack down on things like 'aggressive' panhandling, urinating and/or defecating in public parks, or just smoking crack in public. I really don't know why this cast of municipal clowns just doesn't go all out and fine all poor people within the city limits while they are dreaming up the next set of regulations and restriction for city residents. Nevertheless, here is a thought which I bet never crossed their minds - maybe the bottles and cans I put out in my blue bin are for the garage pickers and it is the City who is illegally scavenging in my bin.