Well, that didn’t take long: with the municipal workers’ strike barely a day old, garbage is already piling up across the city, including in local parks. The above photo, taken early yesterday afternoon, shows a heap of refuse at Christie Pits; trash cans across Toronto are also starting to overflow, despite efforts by city workers to seal many bin openings with plastic wrap and signs imploring residents not to litter.
While the National Post described the mound of waste at Christie Pits as an “impromptu drop-off point,” Ward 19 Councillor and Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone told Torontoist that the pile was in fact the result of a single gathering at the park and was cleaned up this morning. “The garbage was left by a Church group that used the Park and did not meet their obligations for cleaning up,” Pantalone said today via email. “The City removed it and billed the group for its removal.”
But although Pantalone declared that “Christie Pits will not be used as a garbage dump,” legal ways for residents to jettison their trash are hard to come by. Even for those able to drive their waste to one of the seven transfer stations scattered across the city (the closest option for west-enders is near Keele Street and Lawrence Avenue West, more than eight kilometres from Christie Pits), there are reports of cars being blocked at station entrances by picketing workers, with a $380 fine slapped on those who leave their bags outside the gates. The city’s advice: hold on to your trash for this week, as more drop-off points will be opened if the strike drags on.