Second Cup muck up
Folks frequenting the Second Cup near Bathurst and Bloor may find their ice coffee cups winding up in the trash instead of the blue bin.
John Sleiwa, the owner of the Second Cup in question, says the coffee shop has never recycled in the seven years he's owned it. Instead, staff chuck everything, including organics, into a big bin in the back that's hauled off by a private company. Sleiwa says, "We've never had any complaints."
Apparently, the nationwide chain has no recycling policies, although Rachel Douglas, manager of communications at Cara , which owns the coffee chain, does point out that drinks are available in ceramic cups to avoid waste. Douglas says stores also offer 10 cents off to customers who bring in their own mugs and tumblers .
There's no guarantee, in any event, that the city would pick up the stuff if Second Cup put it out on the curb.
Senior waste management analyst Kevin Vibert contends that many of the paper cups found in coffee shops contain a polyethylene liner and aren't recyclable anyway. Same thing goes for the plastic cups, although unofficially the city accepts paper cups in the green bin.
He adds that small business owners must apply to qualify as a client for the recycling program, which tends to be for smaller downtown merchants, restaurants and green grocers. The city is focusing on residential recycling. The province is responsible for an overall business mandate, but only for large retail spaces and restaurants.
Under the province's Waste Diversion Plan, small mom-and-pop shops "are not required to recycle," says Environment Ministry spokesperson John Steele . Larger stores are required to recycle cardboard, cans and newspaper.
By : Jenny Yuen
Boarders throw park plan loop
Etobicoke Councillor Mark Grimes was forced to come out of hiding on Wednesday, July 5, after more than 100 residents pushed their way into what was supposed to be a closed-door meeting of "stakeholders" involved in a controversial plan to build a skateboard park in Colonel Sam Smith Park. Questions about the mad dash to build the multi-million-dollar skate park and ice skating loop metres from lakeshore wetlands have dogged Grimes for weeks. Dozens of messages have been left on his answering machine by irate residents.
True to recent form, the rookie councillor wasn't in any mood to answer grievances at the meeting, referring residents' insult-laced queries to city staffers and "experts" handling the PowerPoint presentations.
"Do you care, or are you wasting our time?" yelled one man, amplifying the cynical murmurs of those around him. At times it felt like all semblance of order was going to collapse. Skateboarders have joined the chorus of opposition to the skate park, which, as it stands, is mostly flat and doesn't include a bowl.
"These plans are horseshit," says Ryan Geluch, who runs Sumo , a skate shop in the area.
Geluch supports an alternative site further north proposed by Citizens Concerned About the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront . He can't understand why the skate facility is being placed in a location surrounded by trees, considering the tendency of skaters to face-plant when a wheel meets a twig.
But Grimes, who finally spoke to media en route to his car, defended the plan and vowed to push ahead.
"The kids were clearly not happy with the first concept plan, but it's a concept plan," he says, maintaining that the hostile gathering didn't represent the general feelings of constituents on the proposal.
If community members want an alternative site, Grimes says it's up to them to provide one.
Citizens Concerned has pitched Don Russell Park, a short distance north of Sam Smith. It's slated for a four-pad multi-use arena complex and is a natural fit for activities like skateboarding.
Geluch remains perplexed by the urgency with which Grimes is moving ahead with this disputed deal. "What our councillor is telling us is we've got two weeks to make changes and then they start digging."
This controversy seems destined for a few more twists and turns when it goes to council July 25.
By : Paul Terefenko
Cop union plays name games
Is there a police commendation for shrewdest spin? If so, Toronto Police Association head Dave Wilson may be in the running after arguing against officers being compelled to wear name tags.
"Name tags would put our most vulnerable at further risk," the union leader told the July 10 Police Services Board meeting, while arguing that name tags would allow women and minority members of the force to be singled out for retribution.
Wilson claimed to recall "many cases" in which officers, and even their children, were targeted for harassment. But was it due to name tags? "You'd have to ask the bandit," he replied.
Bandit? Are criminals back to wearing bandanas and balaclavas? It only seems fair, then, that officers be equally identifiable.
Chief Bill Blair attempted to meet the union half way, suggesting tags could be made voluntary for a time. So is Blair keeping communication with the union open or just avoiding its wrath?
Wilson put the board on notice that he will bring the issue to the provincial Labour Relations Board. "We should be focusing on the bad guys," he said.
Are they different from the bandits? Board member Hamlin Grange might agree with Wilson on that. "We've spent far too long on this," he said.
By : Mike Smith