Compost Pick up in Ottawa

 source : Green Bin Ottawa
I was happily surprised earlier this week to read on Greater Ottawa that there is a Green Bin Composting Program soon to be implemented in the city. Basically it's a program where the city will be collecting organic waste to turn it into compost. Ever since I posted an article on a residential composter last year, I thought it would be a great idea if cities would pick up compost. Not everyone needs that much compost at home but the city could use it. I'm glad Ottawa is doing it.

Green bins are currently being distributed to houses across the city until December and the collection should start in January 2010. The compost will be used by local farmers and city initiatives. During the first phase of this project, the city will pick up organic waste in single residential properties, low-rise multi-unit residential properties with six units or less, rural village and estate residents with curb-side pick up. The next phase, a year later, should include high-rise, multi-unit residential properties.
There are plans to also implement this program for the industrial, commercial and institutional sector. I hope something happens soon because I think this would make a huge and positive  impact on the environment. Some cities like Seattle already started to collect commercial organic waste and many restaurants and businesses are contributing. One restaurant owner said that "since his business started the program [...], about 60 percent of [the] waste is compostable, 30 percent is recyclable, and 10 percent is trash".
In the mean time, if you want to get a head start you can purchase a composter like the one from Narture Mill.

source: Nature Mill
If you are a bit more adventurous you might like Amy Youngs' Digestive Table (a little too much for me, but some might find it amusing) 

source : Amy Young
For more information check out the city of Ottawa.

Three ducks in the city

It never ceases to amaze me to see how close we are to nature in Ottawa.


MOOT Innovators : Art meets science

Nazim Ahmed and Adrian Salamunovic, source: Forbes
Ever seen these canvases with images of DNA used as art? Did you know these internationally known pieces were invented by two Ottawans? (I didn't) Nazim Ahmed, who used to sell equipment that records images of DNA, and Adrian Salamunovic, specializing in high-tech marketing and design, got together one day and started dna 11 after realizing that DNA imaging could be sold as art. What make these pieces truly unique is the fact that each DNA portrait are true images of people's DNA. Not to mention the  fact that science is used to create art. Soon after they started in 2005, they got commissioned by Absolut Vodka, after the Absolut Vodka rep happened to be walking by while they were discussing their project to create a piece for them which was showcased at the then Helsinki Lounge in the market. Talk about being at the right place at the right time!

Commission piece at Helsinkin Lounge, source: Mocoloco

Soon after their piece was showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is now sold all over the world in over 50 countries. 
The process is simple. You get a DNA collection kit to collect a cheek cell swab and send it back to their lab. At the lab, they extract your DNA's image and destroy your DNA sample. Your DNA's image is then enhanced and customized (there's over 1 million colors to choose from), printed on a canvas and sent to you.

dna 11 has expanded their line to create art made out of finger prints and lipstick prints as well.

dna 11's products have been showcased on many television shows including CSI and Candice Olson's Divine Design and the Designer Guys. There's even a company in the UK that started copying them (I wonder if they know), but they're definitely not as nice as the ones from Ottawa.  Now that's a success story. Way to go! I wonder what's next for them?


UPDATE : Fix My Street - Sparks Street

The good news is: I received an email from a customer service representative from the city. My comment on FixMyStreet about Sparks street was forwarded to Sparks Street Mall Management. The issue has been transferred. What's next? Is something going to happen or will it get archived with the 2004 study mentioned by James? We shall see. I'll keep you posted.


Fix My Street - Sparks Street

Am I missing something? It seems to me like the city doing a horrible job with Sparks Street? I'll spare you the details for another post (or maybe several other posts) but for now just look at that street. What's up with these patches? I though Sparks Street is one of Ottawa's most significant heritage street. If that's the case, why isn't there more care put into the maintenance of the pavement? Specially with such a simple pattern. Seriously! People get paid to do such a bad job? Might as well leave it unrepaired, at least we'd save money that way.

To me, Sparks Street mall has so much potential to be so much more than a neglected shadow of its former self. It's time for a change. I was walking down the street not too long ago and there was a young violinist playing a very slow and sad song "how fitting" I thought. The street is depressing. It need some life and youth injected back into it.

Anyway, I added this to FixMySteet. We'll see how that goes.


Large Window MOOT Home in the Glebe

I spotted another great modern home in the Glebe. This one has extra large windows for maximum sunshine. I really like the horizontal wood strip and the black glass door and huge wall window next to it: Gorgeous! Looks like it's still a work in progress. I wonder what material they are going to use for the stairs. I find it interesting that they used traditional red bricks for a portion of the facing and the little wall in front of the stair. Perhaps it was to relate to the traditional house next to it.


Understanding Lansdowne Park

Lansdowne Park is a historic sports, exhibition and entertainment facility in Ottawa, owned by the city. It is currently in desperate need of an update and there are a lot of heated debates on what the "New Lansdowne Park" should look like and how it should be used. I didn't realize how passionate some people are about this project until I started reading about it and decided to attend a presentation by architect Lester Johnson last week on the subject. There was a lot of people. The media was there, some councilors as well. Johnson had prepared a few documents for people to keep and scaled drawings of his proposal. It was quite interesting to see. What I got so far is that it seems like back in 2007, the city launched a design competition for Lansdowne but the competition was put on hold while the city evaluated an unsolicited proposal from the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) group, proposing the much debated Lansdowne Live which includes an upgraded 25,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium, a refurbished arena and exhibition hall, an aquarium in the Aberdeen Pavilion, green areas including soccer pitches, event lawns, ultimate-disc field, formal gardens and ponds, 2000-seat outdoor amphitheater and 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant complex instead of the Coliseum Building. Johnson presented a proposal for the retrofit of the space in order to encourage the reopening of the general competition to redesign Lansdowne and inspire people to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to the redesign of Lansdowne Park. His proposal included an outdoor theater, residences, offices, businesses, a new concert hall, a reflecting pool that converts into a skating ring in the winter, the restoration of Sullivan's building, farmer's market, pedestrian bridge, cobbled street, kids play area, underground and surface parking. It was a very interesting presentation with a lot of interesting ideas. I also learned there had been another presentation for a concept proposal by John Martin earlier that day. I had a chance to talk to him as well and he has some interesting ideas as well. It's good to see that there are people here in Ottawa who wants more for the city. It will be interesting to see the outcome.


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