Sunday, February 6, 2011

Garbage In The Lane

We have made it past the worst of winter, and are hopefully into the home stretch. The weather has been nice these past few days, and it has been a welcome change. I have found that I am not as keen to suit up and walk down my lane as often this winter as I have in the summer. But I do still go out. Every few days, I am back in the lane, looking for garbage out of place. I am still reporting bulky items left in the lanes, and dumpsters overflowing with trash. I walk down my lane, over to the next block and back up across the street. That is my usual route, and I try to patrol those lanes as often as I can.
A few weeks ago there were several dumpsters with overflowing garbage, including one with a bench seat from a van sticking out of it. The issues were reported and subsequently taken care of. And a couple of days ago, on my usual walk, I found a row of garbage spanning the full length of one lot. It consisted of some mattresses, a table, the outer shells of two dressers, a hot water tank, a few other odds and ends, and some sheets. In the middle of this line of garbage was an empty dumpster. I can only imagine what the dumpster looked like the previous day, before it was emptied and carefully put back in place.
As I looked at the huge pile of items lining the lane, I wondered about their origins. Were they trucked in? Or deposited by a landlord? Or maybe a tenant. Then I remembered I saw a moving truck in front of that house a week earlier. I had not been down that part of the lane since January 26, so I do not know exacty when the items were deposited. But I definitely reported them to 311 after finding them. They should be taken care of within the next few days. But I wonder what happened in that house. All I really know is what I see from the outside. I know a moving truck came, and I know there are items in the back lane. Anything else is up to the imagination.
It is really the same for each of the houses on my street. I only really know a small piece of the puzzle. Whether it is a smiling neighbour entering a house, or another yelling out the window, a piece of garbage in the lane, or a recycling box filled to the brim. Each bit of information is just a single piece in a larger puzzle. We all use our own imaginations to fill in the huge gaps of information missing in that larger puzzle, whether it is my one city block, the North End, our city, province or country.
I am just adding a few small pieces in that larger puzzle of my one city block in the North End.


  1. I'm Josh from the Faraday Neighbourhood Resident's Association. We're assembling a website with information and resources available to people living in the North End. I'd like to add your blog to our list of bloggers of the North End, if that's all right.

    The site is at

    We'd love any other links / information you could suggest.

  2. have you labled the adress on dumpsters around you? worked in npd to help get the city out cleaning the mess up if u want help willing to join in on a days adventure going out labling