A Litter bit of Tim's to call our own

May 4th 2006 I went out for  a 60 minute walk - What did I see?
Tim  Trash


       

       

       

     

       

     

     

       

       

 


And that is only a small part of it.
 I do not know the answer but I do feel  that a company so visibly part of the problem would likely benefit if they were visibly part of a solution. Perhaps they should rrrroll up their sleeves and get to work on a solution.
Capital punishment for offenders might look attractive as a deterrent but I oppose it on principle for any offence. Deposits might help. We see very few beverage containers in the litter now - probably not because our friends and neighbors throw less away
but because someone else can see the profit in picking them up. It would be nice as well if these disposable one use containers
 were recyclable & or compostable.


Well that opened the gate. I have received a few comments about this page. Most agree there is a litter problem and that Tim Hortons cups are often what we see most. Most people also see Tim's customers as the real villains.

Some comments with full names withheld to protect the innocent - and me.

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I  am very annoyed with the amount of litter people discard everywhere but  where they should. Where they should is of coarse  - Reduce  -  Reuse - &  Recycle - & when that is not possible - suitable waste handling programs -- Put it in the garbage.
This week I went out for a short walk & very quickly I could see that by far one of the most visible components of  litter is Tim Horton's cups. After seeing dozens of discarded cups I started taking pictures of some of them.  Sometimes they are the only litter. More often they are part of a larger problem. Eliminating Tim Trash may do little by itself to curb a widespread disrespect of our urban environment but the ideas and effort that would reduce coffee cups as litter would probably have a wider impact. Perhaps it is time Tim Horton's got involved in getting their cups off the street. It goes without saying that you and I are already doing our part. Right?  G. A.

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No carry away beverage container that is on the market today can be recycled for hot beverages. ( in N B ) Each has either wax  or a plastic liner somewhere in the makeup. Every material must be separated to be recycled. The answer may be to promote the use and maybe discount those who show up and use their own travel mug. The Trash Talker    C. D.

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Styrofoam - I thought that it was possible to put used styrofoam in to non food use secondary applications - perhaps volume or demand do not make that practical.I expect - again I do not know - that coffee cups - and milk cartons - shredded - reduced to small enough pieces - would decompose in a compost program -- I am sure they would become in time a non distinct part of the soil - I have seen that happen - I do not know though what the impact of all the plastic would be if high volumes of used containers ended up in the compost heap. Personal reusable is a part answer - there has to be more --- G. A.

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Styrofoam is not recyclable in NB. It belongs in the garbage. It's not feasible to recycle it - has to go a long ways and then you get paid by the weight, so it wouldn't even cover the gas money - let alone the truck, driver, etc. Milk cartons have wax on them so they will not decompose. In order to recycle them, they have to go far away to a plant that separates the materials and the recycles it. Also the cardboard is specially treated so that light doesn't pass through it, so it's not just regular cardboard material. That's why we ask people to buy their milk in plastic containers. Reusable like in Europe needs to come to Canada C. D.

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Could not agree more!! Do you mind if I send this to a couple people in our Village Committee we are in the midst of talking with Tim's on W*****  to get something started to clean up Tim Horton's cups. You are right it's most of the garbage you see and they have a responsibility to do something. At the same time I would like to see some people get some hefty fines for littering and maybe send a message. People who litter and believe me there are lots, have no respect for our neighborhood and environment.  A. L.

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Well...here on the West Coast, we have Starbucks Seattle's Best, Second Cup, and all kinds of coffee shops and their trash.  It's not as bad here,actually for coffee (maybe our coffee drinkers are more environmentally aware), but there is McDonalds EVERYWHERE.....Burger King, Wendys, Dairy Queen, etc. McDonalds and Burger King are the "Kings Of Trash" for sure. I blame it on the damn drive thru's. I see jerks in BMW's,Jaguar's, and all kinds of SUV's that cost upwards of $50,000 buying this CRAP food.... I don't understand it. For what they spend on gas that day, they could have a decent meal in a very good restaurant.   B. M

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Is it just me or are we taking the blame off the individuals and putting it on the "big evil corporations"? It's the customers buying the drinks and tossing them that are to blame not the store selling the stuff.  Unless I'm mistaken, all the Tim Hortons stores EVERYWHERE provide garbage cans in the parking lots, as do McDonalds, Burger King...and so forth.

Lets face it PEOPLE ARE PIGS and don't give a shit about anyone else or about the environment.  What should Tim Hortons do???  Maybe they should hire a few thousand employees to walk all over the city to pick up the  coffee cups.   Sure they could put a deposit on them but get serious...they're not like plastic or glass bottles that are easy to keep, they're not made to last and would rip before being returned.  Once they implemented the deposit on cups then the problem would become the bags or papers that wrap the doughnuts and bagels, the candy bar wrappers from the Mac's Milk at the corner, the paper bags kids take their lunches to school in, the newspapers (especially the free ones) that are just dropped when the reading is done...I could go on and on...the fact is that ANYTHING that is consumed in public is most likely going to end up as litter.   K. M.

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When I was small my father used to walk us out to Dairy Queen (it was about 8 - 10 blocks) and we would each take a plastic bag with us.  We would all fill our bags with garbage from the side of road on the way (which was plenty 'cause there was a McDonalds between home and Dairy Queen) and then he'd buy us a cone as a reward.  Maybe we didn't make much of a difference to the community picking up 4 grocery bags of garbage once a week but to this day I can't litter...not even a candy wrapper.  I've already started teaching my kids that littering is bad and they pick up garbage and put it in the trash can whenever we go to the park.  Maybe rather than pointing fingers it would be better to just pick up that piece of trash and throw it away properly....the solution is in raising generations that understand the importance of respecting the environment.   K. M.

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I used to live in St. Martins (by the sea), New Brunswick, and every time I'd go for a walk on the beaches there with my son and friend, Gerald ("Hug"), we'd take a bag each, and fill it with garbage that washed up on shore or was left behind. I HATE the free papers here in Vancouver, and think everyone can do their part and pick SOMETHING up every day. If Karen and my words speak to you, I encourage you to visit  B. M

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I think you are missing the point.  Nobody is blaming Timmies. This is just one of many ways that we as human beings tend to destroy our planet, and maybe it is a good idea to help others notice it .
The idea of a deposit fee is not so the cups can be used again, or to penalize Timmies, itís just to see if people will return them instead of littering. Thatís all. It is one way that New Brunswick keeps plastic and glass bottle litter down. People get money for returning them, so they donít end up in the trash or on the ground as often as a result. The ones that do get dropped tend to get scooped up by local homeless people, and it is a source of income for them!I totally agree that we are pigs   but what harm would it do Timmies to try this out? It would give them good press as being environmentally conscious, and it might curb litter a little. No harm no foul, correct?Thatís all it is. Nothing more. Just an  idea. Just an attempt at raising public awareness. 

Oh, as for the bringing a garbage bag when hiking or walking, I think that is BRILLIANT! Bruce, Iím sure youíve been to New River Beach. I used to walk those trails with my family, and I remember one time being so disgusted with all the litter in the woods, that I picked up a discarded sled and filled it with garbage and brought it out of the woods to a very obvious garbage can. I do not litter, and I will not allow my child to litter. I think it is a disgusting habit.. Itís only one small step, but ya never know, maybe we wonít have to impose the same thing to Macís milk bags!!!  Have you got any ideas to stop people from littering? Just a thought.  S. A.

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But then again, is the company to blame or the litters?  If parents taught  their children and set a good example in regards to proper garbage and recyclable disposal, then would we even have this problem?  J. H.

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The idea is not that Timmies is responsible for the morons throwing their cups on the ground, but that it would be really cool of them to help eliminate some of the litter and or waste that we as a very consumer driven society create every day. It would cost them nothing to do so, and might
actually raise their profit margin while raising public awareness and their public standing at the same time.
Think about it. If you put a 7 cent deposit on every Timmies cup you bought, and got 5 cents back for it, that would equal what, 50 to 75 cents a week back in your pocket, while reducing litter and possibly garbage (if Timmies recycled the paper cups), while making Timmies a profit of 10 - 30 cents profit per person.  . Timmies are not responsible for the litter, BUT, if you start to look around, you will notice a high percentage of the litter you see is made up of Timmies cups, and eliminating them is a good start on the road to a cleaner society don't you think? Baby steps J*  baby steps.  S. A.

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Very popular products promote their own packaging. In defense of the corporation, I am sure that  we would not even Notice the cups if they were not as freaking' popular. "Why do Deluxe French Fries Coffee drinkers take the time to throw out thier cups while them bad assed Timmy drinkers just toss thier's?"  I will tell you why. there is more of them. The problem has been addressed in many engineering realms and they just don't seem to get it. I know what the problem is. Numbers. and the fact that when you get 100 people together there will sure as shit be too many that don't care about litter. Education about reuse recycle reduce is the only way to direct the masses through these troubled times. Education is the answer. I am just glad we are not back in the seventies when you could not stroll any portion of the Bay of Fundy shoreline without kicking an Oil can or some type of junk, we would not even recognize the issue then. Maybe we had people that needed the employment and walked around with the stick with the nail on it. Now those folks are inside Tim Horton's selling coffee. Walt Disney said "that 's progress". 
Secondary use is the secret. The margarine industry purposely design's their containers to be used secondarily as whatever. Put your head to that one  and make yourself a millionaire. "Haute Couture Brassiere made from Tim Cups" etc....   Thanks for stirring up my Monday Morning    D.C.

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The beaches have improved - Great - I even think the Lake - River - & Bay water may be cleaner-  I hope that is right.
Fix the windows and then the doors look bad - guess we have to be constantly renovating - either that or let the house fall down ---G. A.

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Cool...Thanks for the Tim Bit.....Did you pick up the cups Gord?  W. R. -       Reply - no I'd still be out there  G. A. - 
- but I do pick them up all the time in my own neighbourhood   -    IMBY*   _    G.A.       *(
In My Back Yard)

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GORDON, I AGREE WITH YOUR THOUGHTS REGARDING HOW DESPICABLE THIS SITUATION IS.
 
I  AM INVOLVED WITH THE Y'S MEN IN MY COMMUNITY AND WE HAVE ADOPTED A STRETCH OF BUSY HIGHWAY. THIS ROAD IS NEAR BOTH A MIDDLE AND A HIGH SCHOOL.
 
BUT WE DON'T PICK UP MUCH "KID STUFF". IT IS COMING FROM ADULTS WHO, REMARKABLY TO ME IN THIS DAY, STILL JUST TOSS REFUGE OUT THEIR WINDOW. AND YOU'RE CORRECT, TIM CUPS ARE FAR AND AWAY THE LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR TO THE MESS.
 
HOWEVER, TIM HORTON'S IS NOT IMPROPERLY THROWING AWAY THE GARBAGE, IT IS CONSUMERS.
 
TIM HORTONS HAS JUSTLY EARNED  A REPUTATION OF BEING A GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN. I WOULD BE WILLING TO BET THEY WOULD GET BEHIND A MARKETING INFORMATION PROGRAM OR SOME OTHER INNOVATIVE WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO PROPERLY DISPOSE OF THEIR CUPS.
 
CLEARLY, A RECYCLABLE CUP OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS MUST NOT BE COST PROHIBITIVE FOR TIM'S TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE. LET'S REMEMBER, OTHER TAKE OUT CUPS, PACKAGES, ETC. ARE ALSO BEING THROWN AWAY. TIM'S IS JUST INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL IN SELLING THEIR PRODUCT.  E. P.

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I know Tim H are good guys and that the problem is a symptom of their success - nevertheless I can't help but think that it is Tim's best interest to find a way to reduce the problem --- Travel mugs help - but usage is low.  Getting the province to add drink cups to the beverage deposit list would I expect do as much good for drink cups as it has for beverage containers. Eliminate beverage containers and drink cups and still the rest remains -- maybe public flogging  would help ---   And there are obviously more important problems that need our attention - no need for a list  G. A.

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It is a very large part of the trash that I see lying around and would love to see everyone (Timmies AND the consumer) do something about it. I see no reason what so ever that people should litter.  

The local high school kids have garbage cans distributed all over their school property, yet throw garbage on the grass, the road and the sidewalk. I think this is a more subtle F-U to the establishment and rules in general, but really conveys no point. Can we set up a ďFlog the litterbugs dayĒ or something like that to deter them? I WISH!

Oh hey, you will be happy to hear that we now have a green box program ( in Ontario ) in effect just like you!!! We now have a small green box in the kitchen that all compost-able waste goes in to, and a large one in the garage that goes to the curb. This should help eliminate a lot more trash! Weeeee  S. A.  

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Deposit is likely the only solution.     H.T.

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I got to thinking about the e-mails concerning Tim's; and, on the way home from Safeway yesterday, I picked up over half a shopping bag of garbage. 99% was Tim's/Macdonald's. 

I got to thinking about the D.O.A. slogan on one of my hoodies:   "TALK-ACTION=0"   and figured, "I don't have to be on a beach to pick up garbage" even though the City Of New Westminster has VERY WELL PAID employees to pick up litter; that is no reason to ignore it. So I thought, "I'll be part of the solution". I'm going to do it most every day, too.  B. M

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Can't help but think that a beginning is the only way to start. Wouldn't be surprised to see results exceed the input effort - from leading by example and seeing the action imitated. A clean environment is less likely to attract litter than a neglected area. Many of the bad guys are less likely to litter in a clean place - and many of the good guys will only hesitate slightly to add to the existing mess.  G A

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This is typical.  I have a problem I don't want to deal with.  In this case, trash.  I throw it out the car window and it is no longer my problem.  Gone.  I no longer have to deal with it.   However, it becomes someone else's problem. 

People need to be more considerate and not so ignorant.  It is not Tim's responsibility.  They are are providing a service that is in great demand.  See also the number of empty water bottles scattered across the country.  That is the culture we now live in.  As someone wise once said, "Give me convenience or give me death" :-)

If Tim's decides to do something about it (I thought they have something on the cups about not littering but maybe that's someone else), then Bravo.  But that won't impact the pigs who throw their garbage into the environment because they are too lazy and inconsiderate to take on the burden of carrying a coffee cup from their car into the garbage in their home.   J. A.

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Seeing the group of messages  gave me another idea...

One big problem with travel mugs (for me anyways) is that it gets left in the car....I go to get another coffee and the mug is sitting there on the floor of my van dirty....how about if coffee shops adopted the Knob Hill Farms idea.  You give a $5 deposit for a travel mug, when you go get another coffee you give it back, they put it in the dishwasher and give you a clean one for your coffee.  Nobody would throw out a travel mug, especially if they could get their fairly large deposit back, nobody would mind using the travel mugs because they wouldn't have to wash them and if you're going out and don't want to carry a mug everywhere you go there's always a Tim Hortons close by where you could simply return it and get your deposit back.

I still think the long term solution is bringing the idea of keeping the environment clean and not littering into the school system in a much bigger way than it is now because if you bring up a whole generation of people that won't litter you no longer have to worry about cleaning it up after....there won't be the mess but finding ways to get the present generation of adults to clean up their act wouldn't hurt as well.
    K. M.

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In grade 8, we were all taught the evils (both health and moral) of drinking, smoking, and drugs yet we all do some, if not all, of these anyway.  You have to shame people into not littering.  Make it socially unacceptable on a large scale.  If a friend of yours threw an empty coffee cup to the curb, would you shun that person or even say anything?  If it was a friend, you might say something or make a joke about it (Donít be a litter bug, you jerk, ha-ha) but one certainly wouldnít say anything to a stranger.  People will do it as long as they can get away with it consequence free.  Education may help a younger generation understand the impact, but it wonít necessarily stop them.  There is no tangible punishment.  J. A.

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If you have pictures you would like to see included e-mail them to me at

<<<<<    timtrash@gordonanderson.ca     >>>>>
If you can -  make them 72 dpi  and no more than 500 pixels high & 800 pixels wide.

Keep it legal.


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