Recently, the media shared with us that according to the Zagat Survey of Fast Food Favourites, Tim Hortons ranked within the top five. I have to say that while the public may find their menu popular…and their coffee too, according to this one artist-chick, their stance on stewardship and the environment is in serious need of revision! I cleaned up some days, between 30 and 50 Tim Horton’s on each walk while exploring whether I might change the landscape, one bag at a time. In fact, one day I walked over to the Tim Hortons located on the edge of Frank’s Flats and approached the manager with 71 cups collected in a single day and asked if he might offer me a rebate or even turn those cups in for recycling.
The manager explained that, as yet, Alberta does not have the capability of washing the lining product from the cups and so the cups, primarily made of paper, can not be recycled. There are no incentives offered for returning the cups either and so a large number of people out for their evening/morning/Sunday strolls just pitch their cups and plastic lids into the pond or along its edge. Like many other Albertans, they surely believe that over time these products will break down in the weather and such, but nah…unfortunately, they just become smaller and smaller pieces of those things that they are.
I revisited this location to see how it has been doing…from a view of the big picture, it continues to be a pristine and beautiful place…hmmm…but, look up close and you will see a different sort of picture.
When I contacted Tim Hortons about their stewardship efforts, I was directed to their link on their website. It explains goals of diminishing waste and environmental impact by 5%...again and again…if you look into it, over the last several years. However, there is no acknowledgment of having reached any of those targets. Tim Hortons sponsors various clean-up efforts in the city, but rarely do you hear of larger efforts to change the type of products they use or to design a new and cost efficient technology to deal with the recyle of their cups.