Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Sunday Walk Down My Back Lane

I went for a nice walk down the lane with my husband today. It was a bit chilly. I am going to have to start taking mittens with me in the future, as my hands were getting a bit cold while handling my icy cold metal camera.
As we were going down the lane, we noticed an individual checking the dumpsters. A few times the person got his head right in the dumpster. Then he jumped all the way into the next one. I don't know what he was after, but he seemed quite persistant in making sure he checked every morsel of trash.
We went a little further down the lane and noticed one of the dumpsters on the block had been recently burned. Actually, it was the new dumpster I had installed earlier in the summer, where the garbage was piling up on the ground. Now there is no lid, or very little remaining anyways, and the metal shows signs of a recent fire.
Behind the burned dumpster, there are a few old tvs stacked. There are always stacks of tvs in this particular yard, and regularly several tvs in the dumpsters in and around the house. I often wonder where the tvs come from. And what is being stripped out of them that someone would go to the bother of collecting, then disposing of them. This will become another project of mine, to watch the number of tvs being disposed of from that house. It is actually against the rules of garbage disposal to put electronics in your regular garbage. They should not be going to the Brady Landfil. But the dumpsters make it easy to dispose of all sorts of items that should not be in the Landfil. If the item is in the dumpster, it gets taken away. And I have seen dumpsters in my back lane stacked high with electronics, and the contents of those dumpsters get picked up and taken to Brady. There are all sorts of electronics being thrown out.
The next house had a broken toilet sitting at the back of the yard, next to the garage. The toilet has been there for quite a while. I will have to let 311 know it is sitting there, and see if it can be removed.
One block over from mine, there is a boarded up house. I noticed it got boarded a few weeks ago. And a street over, there is another boarded house. What happens after the house is boarded up? How long does the owner of the house have to do something with the location?

This will be another of my projects. I want to see how many houses there really are in my area that are boarded up, and what is actually being done with them. If they are getting fixed up, I am all for it. But if they just sit there and cause more houses to drop into the same disrepair, I am far from fine with that happening.

During the walk, I found a couch and chair stacked in the back yard of one house, up against the side fence. It is not being used as lawn furniture, and is not covered. It seems to be an item that has been discarded, but has not been moved to the back lane where I would be able to have it removed. Maybe I will ask 311 about it. The couch is a fire hazzard, just waiting to happen. I do not want it to be lit on fire like the couch in my lane last week.
There are so many issues, just in my back lane. I have a burned out couch and fire damage to a house from a fire last week, which I have already reported to 311, and the recently burned dumpster down the lane. There are electronics stacking in a back yard that will later end up the dumpster. Then there is a broken and abandoned toilet. The neighbourhood is filled with boarded houses. And there are couches in back yards, just waiting to be set on fire. Who is actively taking care of these issues? Is the City of Winnipeg so problem oriented that nothing gets seen as an issue until someone complains? Do By-Law Officers and other city officials only notice issues where a citizen complains? And are the issues taken care of after a complaint is made? I didn't even mention everything everything I saw on my walk today. I never mentioned any of the graffiti that I passed. I never said a word about the broken windows I saw. There are so many issues, just in my back lane.
I don't even know how to end this blog entry. How about:
Who really cares about the North End?
Who's job is it, anyway?
What is being done to make my neighbourhood a place where I feel safe, and a place where I want to live?
What's this world coming to?
I guess I will keep sending my issues to 311.
And I guess I will continue to care about my block in the North End.


  1. The only place that cared was The Great Canadian Talk Show, which read posts like this over the air and held elected officials to account.

  2. I TRIED TO FIND OUT WHAT TO DO WITH ONE OF THOSE CURLY "GOOD" BULBS WHEN THEY CROAK< no help anywhere and they do not last anywhere close to the the advertised Life length.
    So the damn thing is off to Brady Landfill for which I am sorry but if there is no reasonably convenient place to put them????
    Some of the mess around our emptied auto bins is disgusting , does anybody suggest that crap that falls out of a bin is picked up should be put back in the bin by BFI?