The Garbage Problem in Windsor

I have a 10-minute walk from the house I’m renting to campus. At the start of my first year I was excited for this walk; I would be able to get a little exercise and spend a lot of time outdoors every day. However, my excitement quickly vanished once I was fully submerged in my surroundings. The streets were filthy. Every day I witnessed more and more garbage being strewn about lawns, sidewalks, and into the street gutters. This troubled me for a number of reasons.

First, it gives students a bad rap. The area I walked in was almost entirely student housing, so the garbage was produced almost entirely by students. It makes us look sloppy and irresponsible. As someone who doesn’t leave my garbage lying around outside, I don’t like being lumped into the careless student category. This hurts students because if landlords or people considering renting in that area see this carelessness they won’t put as much effort or budget into taking care of the property. They figure that the students will just make a mess of it anyway.

Second, it hurts the environment. I don’t need to  go into too much detail here because we all know how bad littering is for the environment, but when garbage is left out to be blown around the neighbourhood it gets lost; then it never decomposes. This is a big problem with recycling. I can’t count how many plastic bottles I’ve seen blowing around the street. All of that waste is just going to pile up in alleys and dark corners for years.

It contributes to the rat problem. Another huge problem I’ve noticed was the rat population in Windsor. I know every city has them but a large contributor to the rat population is all the garbage left out in the streets; there is a constant food course for them, so they will keep coming back for more.

The easiest way to solve this problem? Don’t leave your garbage and recycle out for a week before pickup. By the time it is picked up half of it has blown away or rummaged through by rats. By waiting until the night before this can be avoided! Also, if things spill pick them up. It’s not very hard to bend down and pick up a bottle or a pizza box… it takes two seconds. You’re hurting yourself as much as you’re hurting the earth.