We were so excited yesterday when bike-riding, puppy-loving, environmentalist City Councillor and Works Chair Glenn De Baeremaeker announced the plan to put deposits on batteries, compact fluorescents and paint cans. Just what we proposed a year ago! For once Toronto was really taking the lead and not just half-heartedly chasing Chicago. He told the Star "With a deposit-return system in place you'd see as many batteries in the garbage as beer bottles." -which is essentially none. It sounded like a done deal.
Alas, it only took a day for Toronto to revert to form. First the right wing opposition chimed in. "I don't think this has been very well thought-out," said Councillor Doug Holyday, who represents a suburban ward. "It seems to me that anything we can do to help the environment is a good thing, but it has to be done efficiently and I don't think this idea fits that bill."
Then the normally sensible John Barber piled on.
A Toronto-only deposit system for batteries alone charts new frontiers in the atlas of political inanity. Once, Toronto led all others in its embrace of progressive environmental regulation, with the happy result that the others are now well prepared to rescue us from our new leaders.
De Baeremaeker told the Post "I would be thrilled if the province would beat us to the punch on this, "But I'm not going to wail for the province or the federal government to come to our rescue on this ... somebody has to be first."
But it is Toronto, and nobody is listening.