Acrid, wet, and rotting, Toronto’s garbage remains piled in parks as the city enters Day 34 of a strike that has left garbage uncollected, city-run daycares and pools shuttered, and frustrations high. More than 30,000 unionized city employees, including indoor and outdoor workers, walked off the job June 22, and it’s only owing to some less-than-summery weather that many Torontonians have avoided having to breathe in an even worse stench.

David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said the “stink quotient” was much higher during the last civic strike, in 2002, which ended after 16 days when the province enacted back-to-work legislation. During that work stoppage, the average afternoon temperature was 29.7 C, while this strike the average temperature has been 24.6 C, Phillips said. At Christie Pits Park, an outdoor hockey rink-turned temporary dump site is now full and closed but the scent of decaying garbage hangs heavy in the humid air.

Read the full story “Frustrations high, odours foul 34 days into Toronto garbage strike” in the Vancouver Sun (July 24, 2009).

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