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SteelTown
Dec 3, 2007, 2:08 PM
Will city say bye-bye to plastic bags?

Dana Brown
The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 3, 2007)

Think reducing trash will be tough? Then you're probably not up for an all-out ban on plastic bags.

The idea is just one of several options being floated to help reduce the use of plastic bags in Hamilton.

Earlier this year, the Waste Reduction Task Force recommended that the city review ways to reduce bag use.

Today, city staff will recommend to the public works committee that councillors approve going ahead with the review.

Other options to be looked at include taxing plastic bags and bringing in other reuse and recycling initiatives.

Ward 2 Councillor Bob Bratina says if it were up to him, it would be bye-bye to the baggies.

"I can't stand petroleum-based things like plastic bags that will live forever in a landfill," he said.

If Hamilton did decide to ban the bags, the city wouldn't be the first to do so. In March, San Francisco, Calif., became the first city in North America to ban traditional plastic grocery bags.

The move was followed less than a week later by Leaf Rapids, a tiny northern Manitoba town. The town became the first municipality in Canada to ban plastic bags.

Hamilton Ward 13 Councillor Russ Powers said he feels a report looking at options is a good idea.

He stressed that the issue still requires study and could use input from other communities.

Powers said he does not support a bag ban at this time. Bratina said he's not sure how much the overall city would support a plastic bag ban.

If councillors approve going ahead with the review, it would be done next year.

dbrown@thespec.com

raisethehammer
Dec 3, 2007, 2:12 PM
council will never do it.
They're still debating over whether cars' tailpipe emmissions should be allowed to fill kids lungs in front of their schools and allowing everyone and their brother to use pesticides.
We're a filthy, polluted hole in the wall and that's how we'll stay with these peabrains on council.
Pave over farmland? Build more highways?
council knows how to do that. and that's about it.

DC83
Dec 3, 2007, 2:25 PM
Agreed about council... they're idiots. I have no faith in them after the 2-bag-limit/hsr fare raise fiasco last week. morons.

I'm sure they'll come up w/ an alternative: recycle ALL plastic bags into highways! "it's a win-win"

I pray they wake up and smell the landfills, b/c this issue is rediculously important (almost as-much so as Light Rail).

My favourite line
Think reducing trash will be tough? Then you're probably not up for an all-out ban on plastic bags.

Gotta love The Spec! They're just SO out-of-touch. It cost me like $6 for cotton bags from Fortinos/No Frills. These bags will last what, 3-5 years? at least. For $6? And everytime I use them I a) bonus PC Points towards free groceries, and b) feel socially responsible.

It's not THAT tough an adjustment, Dana Brown. It's a quick, simple & cheap change that MUST be done in order to rid our dependancy on disposable EVERYTHING!

SteelTown
Dec 3, 2007, 2:46 PM
This all (expect HSR fares) demonstrates Mayor Fred's ineffectiveness of leadership.

raisethehammer
Dec 3, 2007, 3:44 PM
no, it demonstrates how screwed we are.
Our council sucks.
One decent voice on council can't change everything...if it could, then McHattie and Mayor Fred could turn this city around on their own.

They are just one vote in a council full of _______ (insert your own thoughts)

SteelTown
Dec 3, 2007, 5:51 PM
I don't buy that.

Brad Clark and Duvall both were going to vote for the transit fare hike but with pressure they changed their vote, still wasn't enough but it shows perhaps with more days more councillors could have changed their minds as well. If residences voices can change councillors vote then Mayor Fred could have changed these councilors mind as well. But Mayor Fred doesn't he just lets these councillors make their own minds well former Mayor Di Ianni would bring each one into his office and talk to them about his view or opinions.

So far every single one of Mayor's Fred election promise (pesticides, bag limit, anti-idling, still waiting for the election reforms, etc) has been a flop all because a lack of leadership from him.

DC83
Dec 3, 2007, 6:22 PM
^^ It's obviously not 100% Fred's problem... he shouldn't HAVE to educate our councillors... however he certainly should try.

There are also a cpl other Eisenberger campaign promises that I was excited about, but have yet to see any action:

- renaming "wards" or "zones" to Neighbourhood Names
- selling ad space along the Linc (a-la Gardiner Expy) to create Garden-Ads

As for DiIanni's "meetings" in his office, I'm sure he had a couple 'offers' no one could 'refuse'... if you know what I'm sayin!? *cough*cement-shoes-hamilton-harbour*cough*

raisethehammer
Dec 3, 2007, 6:36 PM
yea, trust me...I've heard that those little meetings with Larry had a little more to them than him just "sharing his views". lol.

If our council needs to be taught about some basics of running a city and issues going on in the world, then I have one little question - how the heck are they getting elected??

People get what they vote for....and in this city, we are famous for voting for idiots with nice radio jingles or pretty TV faces.

Maybe we should keep electing school teachers like Larry then if we need our mayor to sit everydown and say "ok class. This is what a bus looks like. Here is why cities all over the world have these buses. Oh, and if we really get on the ball, this thing is called a light rail train" All the students (council) say "wow. I've never seen anything like that before!" as they feverishly take notes.

"come back next week and we'll do a little quiz on balanced transportation systems" says the mayor....class dismissed.

what a pathetic city.

the dude
Dec 3, 2007, 10:12 PM
apparently larry was a principal as well. i've heard some hilarious stories about that. you can use your imagination about how useless he was in that role.

flar
Dec 4, 2007, 4:45 AM
Ban plastic bags!! How difficult is it to bring a few cloth bags to the grocery store?

matt602
Dec 4, 2007, 7:51 AM
I regularly shop with cloth bags when grocery shopping. It's not only much more durable but easier on the hands and they carry tons more per bag. When you're walking all the way to Barton/Woodward from Queenston/Nash with heavy groceries, you'll be thankful those handles are cloth instead of plastic.

DC83
Dec 4, 2007, 12:08 PM
I regularly shop with cloth bags when grocery shopping. It's not only much more durable but easier on the hands and they carry tons more per bag. When you're walking all the way to Barton/Woodward from Queenston/Nash with heavy groceries, you'll be thankful those handles are cloth instead of plastic.

Amen! I walk from either James/York or Main/Dundurn all to the way to Charlton/Walnut and you can carry like 6 cotton bags w/ little effort. Those damn plastic ones break, tear at the bottom, cut off circulation to my hands... not to mention how horrible they are for the environment.

About 2 years ago every time I'd be at a grocery store, or in the market, and the vendor would start to pack a plastic bag for me. I would stop them, explain to them I have my OWN bag, and then get the weirdest looks from them. Like it was an insult to them or something.

It's completely on the ignorance of this city's residents that this "bylaw" would never pass. So if WE are responsible enough to do what's right, we need to educate council (not that they'd listen).

And we can't dis ALL radio jingle guys, rth... Bartina seems to be our only hope and he's a Hamilton Radio ICON! hahaha

DC83
Dec 4, 2007, 2:01 PM
spec.com poll of the day:

Do you agree with the City Council decision to impose a two bag garbage limit in the spring of 2009 with one of the bags having to be transparent?

yes (36.89 %)
no (63.11 %)

Wow... people in this city have no clue!? And I thought COUNCIL was bad!?
"How else am I suppose to dispose of the hundreds of pounds of disposable crap I don't need but buy anyway b/c The Spec told me I wouldn't be a yuppie if I didn't!?" hahaha

DC83
Dec 4, 2007, 2:13 PM
Plastic bag ban shelved -- for now

December 04, 2007

Eric McGuinness
The Hamilton Spectator
(Dec 4, 2007)

Hamilton won't ban or tax plastic grocery bags anytime soon.

Council's public works committee won't even ask staff to study the issue until it finds out how much time would be involved and how other projects would be affected.

While Councillor Chad Collins predicted yesterday it's only a matter of time until plastic bags face widespread bans, he said he wouldn't vote to look at local action without knowing "what won't be done as a result of studying this. I'd prefer staff work on 10 matters at 100 per cent than 100 at 10 per cent."

Scott Stewart, general manager of public works, said staff would return with a report on how such a study would fit in the 2008 work plan.

The city's Waste Reduction Task Force, with members representing a range of community interests, called for a study at a meeting last June. The request was approved by councillors on the Solid Waste Management Master Plan Steering Committee and sent to yesterday's works committee meeting for approval.

But the committee instead went along with Collins' proposal to hold off.

Before that, councillors said they were worried about raising more controversy so soon after last week's controversial decision to phase in a one-bag garbage limit.

Councillor Tom Jackson said: "We just went through a highly contentious, extremely difficult debate. There's still a lot of anger in the community, at least in my community."

Councillor Sam Merulla suggested the city lobby the federal and provincial governments "to ensure bags be eliminated," and Stewart said it would be "ideal if you have national policies on these kinds of things."

Councillor Russ Powers said Quebec is talking about taxing petroleum-based garbage bags and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario discussed ways to reduce plastic-bag waste just last Friday, so it might be premature for Hamilton to start its own study next year.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Councillor Tom Jackson said: "We just went through a highly contentious, extremely difficult debate. There's still a lot of anger in the community, at least in my community."

Wow... maybe if they weren't such idiots then garbage bag "debate" wouldn't have been so difficult. God these people dissapoint... and there's still 3 more years :s