waste audit pic

The Wrong Type of Green

The waste industry is a sham. This is my conclusion after having worked in the industry for nearly 2 years.

Do I want it?

Yes please, give me all of that green

But do I need it?

How else will I pay off my debt?

Does it matter?

All I’ve been doing is simply trying to get by

Oh no

Turns out the work is just work,

No one cares

May as well leave, say goodbye.

I think I care about the wrong type of green

The green that grows businesses.

It’s clean and pristine.

I need to have it to keep me alive

If we lost it, I doubt the world would survive

Green is what fuels my life and my dreams, so please give me that green.

I need to feel what it’s like to deal with a day with three meals, green keeps me lean, if I’m hurt I use green to heal as I rest and digest the fact I’m a hack, my job don’t mean jack.

I really need green so much I will steal from my mother and father because it will shield me from reality, that outside there are dead fields and it’s okay as long as I have that sweet, sweet green.

So please give me that green.

Fallacies of the Waste Industry, Part I

The waste industry is a sham. This is my conclusion after having worked in the industry for nearly 2 years. The waste industry is a sham because it is full of liars, cheats, corruption, and apathy. I’m sorry to lay it down so thick, but it’s my personal truth, from what I have witnessed throughout my time working in the industry. Let me preface this with a statement: the waste industry was founded by the mafia. No, I’m not making allegories, I’m not comparing the waste industry to the mafia, I’m saying the waste industry was literally created by organized crime. And it shows. I mean, sure, we don’t have absolute corrupt gangsters like in the past, but it’s unspoken knowledge that the progenitors of waste haulers were the organized criminal organizations, and I can’t help but wonder how much of a hand their legacy has in current modern day waste operations. My guess is a lot. Now, I won’t go too much into detail – I have many stories, but this is for another day. For one, I’m writing anonymously because I’m pretty sure I can be buried in legal fees if I ever name an actual company or organization, but I’m not sure just how much information I can give before I am considered a whistleblower, to be perfectly honest. Either way, this is a story for another day – today I want to talk about society’s attitude towards the waste they create – or lack thereof.

Simply put, no one cares about waste.

And why would we? Canada is huge, we’ve got thousands and thousands of square kilometers of land. We have so much space we can literally take our trash and dump it out of sight, out of mind. It’s a point I recently brought up with my friend, let’s call her Mandy, when I visited her after finishing a waste audit in Alberta. Compare this to Japan, a tiny little country in comparison, which is infinitesimally better at recycling and reducing waste than we are. My theory for Japan’s success is their size. The country is so small, they would never be able to justify using the amount of land as Canada does for literally, just hiding trash under a heap of dirt.  So, they’ve built a system that is so much more efficient. And you can see it in society as well.

I was watching a lifestyle video on YouTube about a foreigner’s experience living in Japan. The East is known for having more a more collectivistic attitude towards their respective societies, and Japan is no different. Communities and neighborhoods all pitch in to recycle and sort their trash. The video I watched described an organized schedule where each week, the responsibilities for taking out the trash were evenly distributed among apartment blocks and homeowners. I think this may have to do with the psychology of working with a group – nobody wants to be ‘that guy’ who screws the group over by doing a bad job. But that’s speculation – point is, it works because Japan is strides ahead of Canada in the waste sector. Meanwhile, we’re still faffing about with our fingers up our noses trying to convince everyone that ‘mixed recycling’ programs work. Spoiler, they don’t (again, another story for another day).

So, my point is, the reason we’re so good at reducing trash is just as much as a social issue as it is an industrial one. Have you ever wondered what happens to your trash after you separate, and have it picked up? From your home, or perhaps from the office? Do you know the whole story, where it goes, where it’s ‘recycled’? I admit there’s still a lot I don’t know, but I know enough to see how much companies in the waste industry are getting away with.

This is why no one cares about climate change – it’s such a long-term problem with melting ice glaciers so far down the temporal horizon, Boomer #91342 won’t give it the time of day nor a second thought. And you know what? I honestly can’t find it within me to care much longer either. I’ve worked in this industry for just over a year and a half, and the level of apathy I constantly face every single day makes me wonder why I am still trying to change the industry when they clearly don’t want to change themselves.

I’ll leave you with this quote before I end the first of many rants.

Albert Einstein once said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting something to change.

So how much longer will I continue to try?

So how much longer will I continue to try?

So how much longer will I continue to try?



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