Simply put, every year on there is a significant amount of garbage generated by student households. At no time is this fact more prevalent than on move-out days at the end of the year, when a brief stroll through a student neighbourhood will reveal a disturbing amount of stuff left out by students. Clothing, furniture, discarded electronics, kitchenware, clothing, food (both perishable and non), and all sorts of other bagged items are disposed of without necessarily careful regard. This excess of visible garbage on move-out can be attributed to the fact that while the city imposes a 4 bag-per-household limit normally, on move-out days this limit is removed to allow for the excess disposal. This provides an incentive for students to uncritically dispose of their wares.
When looking at this problem, it is very easy to blame students. After all, one could argue that if students simply took responsibility over their individual waste contribution we would not see unnecessarily or disposal of goods that might still have value. While there may be an element of truth to that assessment, it does not suffice to say that this is simply an individual problem; it is a community problem, and it requires a community solution. In essence, by allowing students to dispose of a limitless amount of garbage without providing them with the proper resources with which to properly dispose of or donate their things, the city is equally culpable for the large and wasteful garbage disposals seen on move-out days.
With this in mind, I propose a program which makes it easier on students to access and dispose of materials that can be otherwise used. The focus of this program will be on 1. More accessible electronics recycling 2. More accessible food donation points 3. More accessible clothing and household wares donation points. Though I have yet to identify with precision the most efficient way to help solve this problem, any and all small steps can help.
Funded by London, ON (November 2013)