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Orillia’s Human Hummingbirds – Christine Hager

When Christine Hager sold her house, she moved into a rental complex that had a big bin at the back where residents put all their waste – recycling, compostables, paper, containers – all of it jumbled together in one, often overflowing, bin.  There was no sorting done. Worse, the lid on the container was heavy and difficult to open, so garbage – much of it recyclable – wound up all over the ground. It was a sorry sight.

Christine is a retired professional and active volunteer who cares about her community – she is accustomed to cleaning ditches and picking up garbage. “I don’t expect a hero-sticker,” she said, “but we all need to do our bit and the earth will be happier. Usually we don’t have to look far to find something that will make things better.”

Not one to walk away from a problem, Christine said to herself, “We have to do better than this.” She reached out to her property manager and eventually to the City’s Waste Management Department and the ball started to roll. “The City was most helpful,” says Christine.

Before and After

With wonderful cooperation from both the City and the owners, and despite the pandemic and the City employee strike, the property manager took orders and delivered recycling bins to all resident units. “We ended getting new bins for every unit – one bin each for paper, for containers, and green bins for compostables. Every unit even got bins for our kitchens.”

As if that wasn’t enough, every unit received a courtesy package of Mariposa Market cookies from the property managers to sweeten the deal even further.

Christine’s advice for others living in multi-residential units?  “If you have nothing at all in place, have a conversation with the property manager. Be courteous. Do some research – see who you can call at the City. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to people.” Christine’s next project is to clean up the ditch in front of her complex.

Like the hummingbird, we all need to do what we can, even if it’s only a little bit. All of us can open our eyes and look around at our neighbourhood. We can imagine how things could be better. We can talk with others, and we can do something. Our actions will inspire others.

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