26 October 2010

Knuckle-dragging council pissed off at hard-working recyclers

Put aluminum cans and other recyclable beverage containers on your front doorstep in some parts of St. John’s and they’ll be gone before morning.

The aluminum fairies are busy.

Think of it as a form of curb side recycling.  These hard-working men and women have been trekking the streets since the provincial government introduced the beverage-deposit system to encourage recycling. Why they do it is of no concern.  The fact is that they have helped to cut down on the amount of garbage in our city.

And they’ve been doing it for years.

Rain, sleet or snow.

The same years that the knuckle-draggers at city council resisted running a curb side recycling program altogether.  Sure they had money for other stuff:  Wells-Coombs memorial money pit.  Cruise ship junkets.  Council was willing to spend other people’s money  - yours and mine, that is - on anything, by the bagful.

But something like recycling that is fundamentally part of what the city should be doing. anyway?  Too expensive, supposedly.

And so it fell to the people some affectionately call aluminum fairies to do what the crowd downtown would not bother to do.

Now some people are complaining about the aluminum fairies.  And some other people are trying to figure out ways to stop the aluminum fairies from plying their chosen trade. Plenty of crap-talk has been tossed around as well, likening the people who collect beverage containers to gulls or suggesting they are all people on social assistance. Hardly socially progressive talk, one would think, but definitely indicative of the bigoted attitudes held by some people in this town.

The only obvious reason is that the knuckle-draggers at city council have been counting on people tossing out beverage containers so that the city could pick up some spare change.  But that would just cut into the legitimate business of a whole bunch of people who are not – as city council clearly is – a bunch of johnnies-and-janes-come-lately to being environmentally responsible citizens of an otherwise stinky planet ee-arth. 

They may be grubby compared to the tonier lot at Tammany at Gower but at least the aluminum fairies work hard for their nickels.  And it would be exceedingly bad form for the crowd on council to do anything but change the recycling program they’ve started up to allow the aluminum fairies to do their business unhindered.

Chuck the stupid blue bags, for starters. Next time Doc O’Keefe can spare a moment from gallivanting around with cruise ship folk or hobnobbing at the local Connie convention, he might try hitting up his Conservative confreres for a few bob to supply the good folks of St. John’s with blue boxes. 

The colour should be appealing to their Connie sensibilities, for starters, so they should look favourably on the idea. And as for the cash, the provincial Conservatives have bags of it, thanks to the beverage recycling program. Blue boxes are also a damn-sight better than the blue bags, as well, since they make it easier for residents to put all their recycling in one container.

With a blue box at the curb, the fairies won’t have to make a mess to get at the stuff they are interested in.

But fines or tickets? 

Forget about it. 

There’s not a city councilor in St. John’s fit to look on one of those people shoving a shopping cart full of cans and tetra packs around our streets let alone shag with their work.

- srbp -