Such a Waste

London is the largest city in Ontario without a green bin program. “It’s coming later this year”, they say. Forgive my uncharacteristic cynicism but I’ll believe it when I see it!

More than a decade ago, I was composting everything organic, even dog poop, in Toronto. Longer than two decades ago, Derek was using a green bin in Guelph. It’s embarrassing that it’s taking London so long.

However, not all Londoners are sitting on their hands waiting for this problem to take care of itself. Reducing food waste – and waste of all kinds – is a big concern. We composted at our London home and out in the wilds of the country. Here in Port Stanley, not a green bin town, we’re still trying to figure it out.

This is my bag of shame. I bought this massive bag of popcorn before a family event partly to make people laugh and partly to feed them. But of course, there was so much food that hardly anyone ate it. And my sister-in-law made me take the rest home!

Huge bag of popcorn sitting on the pantry floor.

Derek and I have each eaten a large bowl of it. We love popcorn. But it’s far too salty and turned us into prunes. So now what? Do I stuff pillows with it? That’s a lot of volume for one garbage bag. I can’t bear to throw it out. Thanks to my indecision, it will probably stay on the pantry floor as long as we live here.

Food waste makes up 45% of all the stuff in London landfills. Eliminating it and all other waste is just one of the goals of Reimagine Co. of London, a zero-waste shop and grocery store that’s growing in popularity. They’re a great source of info, too.

Infographic on reducing food waste: plan ahead, store food correctly, freeze food.
Source: Reimagine Co. Used with permission.

Most of us know that a wilted onion is still great for making soup. I accidentally let some sweet potatoes meant for baking dry out but, they were awfully good bathed in olive oil and roasted. Creativity certainly helps.

I love our little chest freezer. When something perishable is on a crazy sale, I buy it and throw it in the freezer. I freeze single portions of chili and other dishes for quick lunches. We waste a lot less food but it’s not nearly 0%.

No one should feel guilty about this if they’re trying. I try but I could certainly do better. London’s landfills are expected to be at capacity by 2024. Someone, somewhere is scoping out places to bury more trash, no doubt. But wouldn’t it be great if they didn’t have to?

2 thoughts on “Such a Waste”

  1. I agree. We were shocked when we moved to London in 2015 from Oakville where we had a green bin system and a specific day that garbage was picked up instead of the round robin of garbage pick up days in London. I know that London says it’s cheaper to have the garbage pick up days moving ahead a day each week, but it is it less expensive that eventually having to have their garbage commute to a new landfill further away? Oakville’s system was predicable and it worked. The same day each week with one week picking up green bins, blue boxes and garbage followed by the green bins and blue boxes the following week. I love pretty much everything about London. It’s been a lifestyle upgrade from the GTA in so many ways – with the exception of the garbage pick up dates and lack of green bin program. Oh and if we could get great dim sum here, that would be an added bonus

  2. Hear! Hear! Hardly ever has food gone to waist in my fridge. If something has ever been on the verge of expiring I make something with it. Onions being a fav if they are approaching their ‘use by’ date I fry em up and freeze rm. So many uses for recipes down the road or simply reheated for a great addition to yummy meals. All too many times the freezer has been my best friend! I also never over-buy as tempting as it is! Cheers to better health all around, even for our dumps! More cities need to get on board 🙂

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