After years of dragging their feet in the world of waste management, the forest city has finally entered the 21st century with their new composting system.
London is currently the largest city in Ontario without a composting system. While the city has toyed with the idea of introducing a green bin system before — like in running a successful pilot program in 2011 — the program was only green-lit this October, as the local landfill risks reaching capacity.
London has historically been late to the game rolling out waste management and environmental programs. The first recycling program in Ontario was in Kitchener in 1981; it took several decades for London to catch up, again, making them one of the last cities in the province to do so.
So while it’s nice that London will be getting a composting system, we shouldn’t be congratulating the city for something they should have done years ago. The fact that it took the landfill to fill up for us to get here shows a huge failure on the part of the city.
But, frankly, it isn’t surprising that the city has been slow to implement this plan.
This belated composting system is just the latest in long string of examples of how London’s city council struggles to invest in long-term strategies. Be it dragging their feet on Bus Rapid Transit, or refusing to construct overpasses for the train that runs through the downtown core, London’s city council has shown itself to be at best apathetic apathetic to the long-term needs of the city.
It doesn’t help that composting and other green programs are issues traditionally championed by students. For years London’s city council has been in a pattern of disregarding the needs of students — often we’re portrayed as nothing more than a nuisance: wrecking havoc with huge September street parties and making it impossible to drive on Richmond Row at night.
So when it comes to issues students care about our voices are usually drowned out.
And students care about climate change. Being eco-friendly is the latest trend: zero-waste lifestyles, metals straws and tote bags are a new chic among younger generations — green bins are just another tangible thing that implements positive change on the environment, so students are inclined to do it.
Even though climate change is an issue that seems more from agriculture and industry, it does feel good to compost and recycle — and when these programs are implemented on a large scale, in cities like London, they do have a positive effect.
Because when it comes to climate change, every bit helps — and London needs to get with the times.