Yes, the Civic Strike in Vancouver is a Big Deal

Comments 17 by Rebecca Bollwitt

We saw a skunk sifting through garbage in the back alley the other day, I think they are doing shift work while the raccoons sleeping, it struck me as sorta strange. When the strike first started (remember way back when? even during the fireworks?) people were like “oh you can’t even tell!” At this point, you can tell, and you can smell, and you probably have a fruit fly whizzing around you right now that you’re trying to smack, but just can’t because damn those things are fast.


Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

Thanks to the growing piles of garbage, pest-control experts say mice and rat calls are up 50%, and the fruit-fly population has more than doubled! [News1130]

Jeffrey made a post on Metblogs about fruit flies and people left comments about how to build a better fly trap. Even at the Canucks game Monday night there were fruit flies and I don’t think they were there to see the Stanley Cup champions play.

John and I have been pretty good about reducing our garbage, but at least we take it downstairs for collection. I swear there’s some people in our building who are collecting their waste on the balcony because when we open the windows the bug problem gets worse. Yes, there still is garbage collection by private companies although wait times at transfer stations now have their schedules tightened.

The civic strike is the second longest in Vancouver’s history. A strike in 1981 lasted for 90 days. Vancouver’s outside workers walked off the job on July 20, halting residential garbage pickup. The inside workers joined the strike on July 23. The city’s library staff went on strike the same week, closing 22 library branches. [CBC]

But listen to me, talking about fruit flies and how annoying they must be meanwhile those less fortunate have been living with this problem in their face since July. If you don’t think it’s a huge problem that Vancouver city workers have been on strike since earlier this summer – take a look at some of the pics I’m peppering throughout this post.


Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

There’s talk this morning of a proposed plan to remove dumpsters altogether as well, while increasing pickups of bagged garbage.

It can be hard to imagine walking through allies downtown and not seeing dumpsters filled with garbage, old mattresses and whatever else. But this new initiative would mean the end to that, and be replaced by a three times daily garbage bag pick up [News1130]

More exhaust from big trucks coming by several times daily but hey, at least there will be more parking in Yaletown because garbage is just ‘icky’.

“Yaletown, in particular, was quite excited about this because, of course, in Yaletown the lanes are very small, and there are so many different haulers that there were, you know, a dumpster for every car.” [CKNW]


Photo credit: Sean Orr on Flickr from his Garbage Strike 2007 set

Whatever resolution comes from mediated talks with civic workers, it can’t come soon enough. Honestly, our city is getting pretty grimey and again (seems like I’m saying this a lot lately) for such a ‘world class’ tourist-destination of a town, we sure are sweeping a lot under the rug.

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17 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Tyler IngramWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 10:50am PST

    Wow I didn’t know it was that bad, then again I don’t live down town and I only went recently to English bay and Stanley Park where they had a garbage can ever 10 feet but that was about a month ago.

    That’s some crazy garbage in the alleys though 🙁

  2. RaulWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 10:55am PST

    I got sprayed by a skunk two days ago. Not pretty 🙁

  3. Miss604Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 11:00am PST

    Raul: Oh man! What did you do? I saw them test out the ‘tomato juice bath’ theory on Mythbusters once.

    Tyler: On the surface, the downtown core isn’t *that* bad (due to volunteers and management not affected by the strike), but once you move East it just becomes a mass dumping ground. The crud and bugs are still there though.

  4. Emm.Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 12:52pm PST

    The first time I was in Van, I saw two, and then THREE skunks fighting right in the middle of the road.

    It was pretty incredible.

  5. Keira-AnneWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 1:39pm PST

    I haaaaaate those damned fruit flies. They piss me off.

  6. John BollwittWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 1:43pm PST

    It’s getting to the point that no matter how much you disinfect your kitchen or bathroom, fruit flies come back. They go away for a little while when you remove any, potential sources of food for them, but it doesn’t take much for them to come back.

  7. PatZWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 4:27pm PST

    i used to work for the city at home (three summers) and we worked our asses off to clean up garbage pretty much daily in the parks.
    the park across the street from where I am now is fucking disgusting now, there’s no nicer way to put it and it pisses me off that a) people have no problem dumping in a public green space and, b) there’s a children’s playground in the park that’s now covered in trash.
    i havent seen any skunks but theres definitely way more crows spreading it over an even larger area there.

  8. gus greeperWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 4:31pm PST

    yeah the kitchen ones are getting bad even when i do clean it. 😉
    im surprised it is the second longest the last one felt like forever….being the THIRD one i lived her through since 96.
    i see the parks under the cambie bridge every friday and it is BAD even for an are like ‘that’, and the bridge itself is gross, to the point of walking by bloody road kill to all the garbage.

  9. RossWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 5:07pm PST

    I have 3 of these strategically located in my kitchen. They seem to work well at catching the flies.

  10. RaulWednesday, September 19th, 2007 — 10:57pm PST

    I dunno what happened with the skunk. I didn’t even see it. But apparently he must have seen me and he decided that I was a potential threat and WHOOSH, all of I sudden I felt affected by this awful skunk smell!!!!

  11. 298 Photos of the Garbage StrikeThursday, September 20th, 2007 — 10:42am PST

    […] complaints about rats and fruit flies (Jen also provides a handy remedy), while Rebecca gives a general state of the refuse address on the […]

  12. ArianeSaturday, September 22nd, 2007 — 10:41am PST

    SERIOUSLY the fruit flies are driving me nuts. although they’ve been a bit better the past couple days, i think mainly cause it’s been colder and i haven’t had my windows open as much. i live just off denman, and although the back lane garbage isn’t too bad, the fruit flies have been just crazy.

  13. StephenSaturday, September 22nd, 2007 — 3:43pm PST

    from what i can tell, vancouver city management has skeletons to hide.

    i dunno why vancouver voted for these neo-nazis, who probably voted in that drunktard premier of BC campbell twice.

    but the problems today go back to the early nineties. i know cos some cop decided to wake me up one day by pounding on my dad’s car during the wake following my grandmother’s death circa 1992.

    when i came back with my dad, the cop was gone with his van. i figured out he was a cop cos vancouver’s finest were having some kind of retirement banquet in pink pearl restaurant.

    only a Vancouver cop would have problems trying to back out of the parking lot because some Japanese kid is sleeping in his dad’s car.

    i guess my peaceful snooze was distracting him.

  14. H-dawgTuesday, September 25th, 2007 — 12:40pm PST

    Red wine is a winner for catching fruit flies. But the biggest FLY around is Sam Sullivan, and he is a loser. I am totally and utterly astounded at the total lack of effort in resolving the strike – or maybe it’s more fact that he does not APPEAR to be taking it seriously. He will so ignominiously dumped next election – no Olympics for you buddy. You can watch from the sidelines liek everyone else – there is an election BEFORE 2010 right??

  15. random thoughts » Blog Archive » uneducated, unkempt and smellyTuesday, September 25th, 2007 — 10:15pm PST

    […] the library has been closed, the grass in the parks hasn’t been cut and, more importantly, no one is collecting garbage (incidentally, I overheard someone on the bus today discussing whether skunk bites were serious so […]

  16. Miss604’s Canuck Life :: A Vancouver Blog » Blog Archive » Tuesday Morning Link FestTuesday, October 9th, 2007 — 11:03am PST

    […] civic strike will continue as CUPE 391 members are urged to reject mediators’ recommendations. Only CUPE […]

  17. BinnyThursday, October 11th, 2007 — 10:58am PST

    Fruitfly remedy – white or red wine vinegar and diswashing soap in a little bowl will catch tons!

    As a city tax payer, will I receive a refund on my rental bins! Instead I’m putting my stuff in the park bins which read $2,500 fine for illegal dumping…. Pleeeeez – why should I drive to pay to dump my stuff when I’ve paid for it already.

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