Thursday, December 1, 2016

Are you waste wise?

Image result for waste wise edmontonWhat do you do with empty pizza boxes? Shredded paper? Old VHS video tapes? Left over school supplies? The ugly, non-working lamp that Aunt Calliope left you in her will in the futile hope that you would love and repair it?

As a proud City of Edmonton Master Composter/Recycler, I'm pleased to tell you that there's an app for that... Waste Wise is the City's new phone and computer application that allows you to easily look up an item that you're not sure how to properly dispose of.  Click on the link above and scroll down to the search box. It will tell you that the pizza box can go in your blue bag for recycling, shredded paper goes into a garbage bag so it can be composted in the Waste Management Branch's huge composting facility, and VHS tapes are best taken to an Ecostation so that black magnetic tape from their sure-to-be-broken-in-the-garbage-compactor cassettes don't tie up recycling or composting equipment and cause system shut downs. And it's amazing the number of ordinary things like leftover school supplies that can be recycled or reused through Edmonton's Reuse Centre.

The app will even tell you when your garbage collection day is and send reminders to your phone (I hate it when I forget, but I don't have a phone, so I live with it). And the Waste Wise page also has an interesting garbage sorting game for kids (or adults -- I'll admit to enjoying building my very own vitual playground).

Unfortunately, the app still doesn't know what to do with ex-boyfriends or Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton... I keep hoping the Waste Wise webmaster will come up with some smart comebacks for those "items," like SIRI does when you say, "I love you."  I won't hold my breath on that one, as I'm sure the Waste Wise folks already have their hands full.

As for Aunt Calliope's ugly lamp... well, if it's fixable, it might be worth something at the Antiques Road Show. Or not. And don't forget that one person's trash is another's treasure. Sometimes if you set it out where your trash is collected, someone can anonymously claim it for their own. Or not. You just never know about these things!

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