EUCAN and misinformation

The Megabin project is dead, but the war or words is still raging. Joe Clark, Leslieville’s loudest booster, recently found EUCAN misleading the public (once again) in one of the Town Crier community papers. Clark methodically picks through the quotes from EUCAN reps and the lack of journalistic research by the Town Crier. He also has a good post about the survey results. One of the quotes Clark cites is from Rolando Garcia, CEO of EUCAN.

“All the reports that the city produced, even the ones regarding the opinion of the people, and the people of the BIAs, show that the unit is better and it has been a successful test,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that some councillors, especially Councillor Fletcher, have never understood the benefits to Toronto that this program offers, and what we were trying to actually do.”

Fletcher, a majority of BIAs, a majority of councillors, and most of the people who have been following this issue, already know what the Megabins offer Toronto: nothing, except for larger ad space with a greater impact than the silver bins. Oh, and the least functional garbage bin ever.

For any of us to fully understand what Garcia and company are “actually trying to do,” you should know that when the Megabin battle first begun in the Spring of 2004, EUCAN tried to do a smear job on the pilot project’s mouthiest opponent, the Toronto Public Space Committee. EUCAN circulated a press release to city councillors and local media that provided links to a website set-up by a mentally ill woman (who is now in jail/mental facility for criminally harassing members of the TPSC) who claimed members of the TPSC had beaten and raped her, among other bizarre lies.

Another press release by EUCAN in January again took shots at the TPSC and claimed the results of a City-sanctioned survery were very much in favour of the giant receptacles. Most interestingly, the stats EUCAN likes to cite to demonstrate Torontonians like the Megabin (phone-in opinions) are the most faulty of all. Some examples provided:

• Nearly 100 people claim to have used the bin at or near the CN Tower. But there is no bin (neither a Megabin nor an Ecobin) near the CN Tower. There aren’t even supposed to be any in ward 20 (Trinity-Spadina, Chow/Silva). And, wouldn’t you know it, EVERY SINGLE person who used the “CN Tower bin” was in favour of the new bins.

• the non-existent CN Tower bin comes up 100 times in the phone results but not once in the web results.

• the non-existent Eaton Centre bin comes up 25 times in the phone results but not once in the web results, and every person who claims to have seen it is in favour of the bins.

• there are approximately 85 instances of the “additional comments” section of the phone results consisting of an entreaty to install the bins around the city — not one of these makes mention of a specific location, except when they say CN Tower or Eaton’s Centre or simply “Yonge Street”… Also, the pleas to install the bins everywhere become more frequent as the pilot period approaches its conclusion.

This what EUCAN is “actually trying to do.”

with a special thanks to the TPSC research department for the updated info.


  1. He asks “But does that mean Eucan will not go right ahead and do what’s all the rage among losing bidders these days – sue the city?”The answer is yes, they are already suing the City.

  2. Photoshop counts as reality these days, so Eucan is probably acting in good faith here. How can we expect a garbage can company to decide what’s real and what isn’t?

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