HARMONY - Ray McLennan was left feeling a little blue after garbage pickup day this week.
That's because of all five of the garbage bags he had placed out for disposal were still there after the truck had come and gone.
And while the rejection sticker placed on one of the bags told part of the tale - McLennan had used blue bags instead of the clear variety for four of his bags - he was left wondering why the fifth dark bag was also passed up.
"The garbage had been picked up in these without a problem for the last, almost a year now," the Harmony resident said.
Last January 1, Colchester County's clear bag program officially when into effect, after undergoing a four-month education phase.
What that stipulates is that residents are permitted a maximum of six garbage bags per pickup every other week. Of that number, one dark (privacy) bag is permitted while all others must be clear bags.
Blue, green, yellow or other such 'transparent' bags are not permitted for garbage. They must be completely clear.
Both clear bags and blue bags, however, are permitted for recyclables. And that is precisely where McLennan's confusion stemmed from.
"I was a little shocked because when you look up the definition of clear on the Internet, it says transparent, must be able to see through. And I read the brochure from Colchester and it said clear. Those are tinted but they are still clear and transparent," he said, referring to his blue bags.
McLennan purchases blue bags because they are both cheaper than other varieties and because they are made of recycled materials.
Conversely, however, McLennan said his research has shown that 90 per cent of the clear bags are virgin material.
"Which means more waste, more petro chemicals. So if we're supposed to be going green, how did we end up going to, away from a recycled product, to having to purchase, you know, the virgin material, which is petro chemical, gas and oil and everything else? So it's counter productive," he said.
Municipal waste reduction manger Darlyne Proctor said there is no question that McLennan's one black bag should have been picked up. But she said the garbage collector was correct in rejecting the blue bags and placing a sticker with them to indicate why.
As for the fact that McLennan has been regularly placing the bulk of his garbage in blue bags, she said, he was lucky in getting away with it for as long as he did.
McLennan said there is not much chance of it happening again.
"Now that I'm aware, that's fine," he said. "I mean, I will never forget now."