Bring on the trash talk, advocates say

By Cecilia Nasmith

Cobourg Taxpayers Association president Lydia Smith joined forces with People's Republic of Poetry founder Wally Keeler to address council's committee-of-the-whole meeting on Monday to encourage trash talk.

More literally, their idea is to start a discussion about decorating the waste receptacles that dot Cobourg's beautiful waterfront and, in too many cases, detract from that beauty.

The town gives the waterfront walkway rails a fresh coat of paint each year, so it would conceivably not be a big leap to freshen the trash cans with a coat of paint, Keeler said. But rather than what he termed a bland vanilla solution, he urged council to consider each can an opportunity.

He shared news stories of Missouri and Illinois groups who made it a community project to paint, wrap or otherwise beautify these receptacles. He also shared the story of a Trent Hills group that used this approach to beautify a Bell utility box.

Locally, there are so many ways to go – boating themes for a can by the marina, poppies at the one near the Victoria Park cenotaph, special wraps honouring the town's noted historical figures like Lena Field Fisher or Marie Dressler.

And to pique interest, he added, they can be changed from time to time.

Keeler provided a list of local art organizations who might appreciate the chance to offer their own ideas, but the initiative could also be thrown open to schools or even to the community at large.

“The possibilities are unlimited,” he said.

Keeler acknowledged that such decoration requires a smooth surface, which might require some of the more well-worn cans to be smoothed or replaced. And he would hope the town would provide art supplies for this purpose.

“The intent was to bring it to everyone, and show that creativity and fun can be included in our town culture,” Smith said.

Councillor Brian Darling's motion that the presentation be accepted and referred to the new council following the municipal election passed unanimously.