Trash or treasure — what goes to the landfill?

Re: Scaring up more garbage, Oct. 22, Advocate:

Re: Scaring up more garbage, Oct. 22, Advocate:

Looking at the city landfill statistics from the past 40 years, it is increasingly apparent that we are living in a consumerism/throw-away society.

A drive through any neighborhood on garbage collection day reinforces this theory, with piles of packaging and discarded items on curb after curb.

My parents were children of the Great Depression and I was raised believing you never throw anything away that has use or value, to you or to someone else, which in today’s world could be called “reduce, reuse or recycle.”

Our family recycles as much as we can, which involves frequent trips to the landfill recycle bins. This also means following truckloads of “stuff” lined up to dump into the landfill. Often the “stuff” looks very usable like tables, chairs, wrought-iron railings, wood furniture, file cabinets, bicycles, building materials, plumbing fixtures and much, much more.

Dozens of wine and beer bottles will be thrown in the glass recycle bin, just a few feet away from the Cosmos Bottle Depot bin asking people to please support them.

I am not proud to say we can be very wasteful when others among us have so little.

I lived on the West Coast for awhile and it is very common to have nice, usable “free items” on the curb or end of the driveway for anyone to take. And someone always takes them!

Cortes Island has a Free Store where you can drop off or pick up anything useful at no cost. Islanders take items there they no longer want or need and other islanders take these treasures home to use and enjoy.

The Free Store is run by volunteers and people can buy a coffee or make a cash donation that helps pay utilities, maintenance, etc.

People with extra “stuff” time and again have tried to donate it somewhere but because charities and organizations don’t want it, it is just easier and less hassle to dump it than to find a new home for it. It is a challenge to get the stuff to someone who can use it.

Years ago, people used to salvage from the dump sites and useful items were recycled. Some even made a living from it.

I am not at all suggesting that this is an option today but I am wondering if an area could be set aside at the landfill (both county and city) where people could leave useful items and others could take them home and use them?

What can we do as a community to slow down our landfill and put perfectly good items in the hands of people who can use them? Please take a minute and ask yourself: is it really trash … or treasure?

Julie McInnis

Red Deer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer County approves home-based hair salon

Salon would be located in rural residential area just west of Innisfail

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

In this Thursday, May 14, 2020 photo, a doctor holds his stethoscope during a patient visit in Blackburn, England, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Doctors in British Columbia are being warned they could face investigation or penalties from their regulatory body if they contradict public health orders or guidance about COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP
B.C. doctors could face penalty for veering from COVID-19 health guidelines: college

B.C. doctors could face penalty for veering from COVID-19 health guidelines: college

A vial of the  AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Alberta says it won't give out more first doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the time being.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Hope for a good summer with one dose in arms, if we ‘crush’ COVID-19: Trudeau

Hope for a good summer with one dose in arms, if we ‘crush’ COVID-19: Trudeau

FILE-In this Wednesday, March 17, 2021 file photo, A make-shift memorial is seen outside a business where a multiple fatal shooting occurred on Tuesday, in Acworth, Ga. Robert Aaron Long, 22, accused of killing eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, in shootings at three Atlanta-area massage businesses was indicted Tuesday, May 11, 2021, on murder charges, and a prosecutor filed notice that she'll also seek hate crime charges and the death penalty. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)
Prosecutor plans to seek death penalty in spa shootings

Prosecutor plans to seek death penalty in spa shootings

Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

In this June 8, 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File
‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

This photo provided by World Food Prize shows Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Thilsted was named this year's recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize, which was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food. (Finn Thilsted/World Food Prize via AP)
World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

Most Read