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Why you're going to love clear garbage bags 

The coming trash collection changes are worth it, trust me.

click to enlarge Matt has worked in a few newsrooms, and a couple of radio creative departments. Currently, he’s a stay-at-home-dad. Follow him at @m_brand.
  • Matt has worked in a few newsrooms, and a couple of radio creative departments. Currently, he’s a stay-at-home-dad. Follow him at @m_brand.

Clear garbage bags are coming to Halifax on August 1, and you know what? You are going to love it.

No. Really.

In 2010, my partner and I moved to Coldbrook, Nova Scotia, where the clear bag policy was already in place. The thing is, I didn’t know about this before we moved. At the time I thought this was total bullshit. You want me to do what? Sort?

Why would I take my time to sort all of this stuff when I can just throw it all in one place and let all of life’s problems drift away? Well, mostly because it was now against the rules. It was time to start sorting for real. No more cheating. As it turns out, this whole “sorting” thing? It actually kinda rules. So I’m here to reassure you because, like Hole, I live through this. Here is why you’re going to love the new bag clear policy.

1. No more dirty-ass garbage. You know what I’m talking about. When you haul your dirty-ass garbage to the curb, there might be a hole in your dirty-ass garbage bag leaving a dark/slimy trail in its wake. Let’s all close our eyes and imagine the combination of food and liquid that must have festered to produce that smell and colour and...oh no, it’s on my leg. Yes, you have to start composting everything. But this means a less smelly garbage in your home and no more dragging those filthy wet masses around.

2. Way less garbage. When you can’t cheat on sorting, you will be shocked—shocked!—by how much less garbage you produce. It might actually make you feel good. The result is more recyclables (plastics, paper, refundables) and less actual garbage in your clear bags. Once you get the rhythm of sorting, you’ll be a natural and more likely to sort out all those refundables so you can get. Paid.

3. Your horrible secrets will still be hauled away. Great news! You are allotted one black privacy bag. This should be big enough to hold whatever horrific secret you’ve been keeping. You know, a garbage bag is pretty big, so really, there’s enough room to throw out multiple unspeakable atrocities. Hey, I’m not here to judge! And neither is the privacy bag. Get crazy (but not too crazy)!

4. Goodbye, decision fatigue. Did you know the president of the United States has his clothes picked out for him simply so he has less decisions to make in the run of a day? This is to help ward off something called decision fatigue. The idea is, if you make too many decisions, you’ll eventually make bad decisions. With the clear bag policy, there’s no more “I know I should recycle this, but maybe I’ll just throw it out. No one will ever know.” Instead, you just recycle it, no questions asked. Now you’re the president (of recycling).

5. Obligatory “it’s good for the environment” message. I know what you’re thinking. That’s only the most obvious thing in the world. OK, I deserve that. It’s lazy to list this, but in my defence I did say “obligatory.”

Who likes change? Pretty much no one! Especially when you’re being told what to do by Big Garbage Bag. But if you embrace the clear bag policy, you’ll find it’s worth the little extra effort. And if you don’t embrace the clear bag policy? Too bad, these are the new rules and you have no choice.


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