Canadian Garbage Collectors


Canadian Garbage Collectors
Bourgeois and LaFave

Submitter:  While weeding the nonfiction section at my daughter’s elementary school, which  is not in Canada, I came across this never-circulated gem.  The back cover promises that the content is “totally Canadian.” Really.

Holly: Was the school near Canada??  It’s fine to have a book about what garbage collectors do and where garbage goes.  It’s the Canadian bit I don’t get.  This book is also twenty years old, so the importance on recycling is possibly  not as stressed it would be in a newer book on the subject.

Mary: I can see this being an important difference.  Canadian garbage collectors are probably more polite.  (See, they are smiling on the cover.) They probably know how to take care of certain garbage situations not found in other countries. (Poutine clean up, beer cans, and broken hockey stick issues).  The children need to understand these tough garbage issues. In the end, this can only help U.S./Canada relations.


  1. I’m completely confused. What’s the book actually about? Trash guys? That are Canadian? How can you have specifically CanCon for waste management (The practice, not the company)??

  2. I own this (but then, I’m in Canada) It is a good book and does have recycling in it. But then again, it is 20 years old and some garbage collection technology has moved on. (different trucks)

    Paulette Bourgeois is a major name in Canadian lit for children. She created Franklin the Turtle and Big Sarah’s Little Boots is one of my favourites.

  3. how funny! Pretty sure we have the “American version” at our library. The cover is the same picture.

  4. Having ridden my bicycle across several provinces, I can tell you that there are, indeed, many Tim Horton’s cups littering the countryside.

  5. This one made me laugh! Thanks especially, Mary, for your amusing comments. (And, I hate to say it, but I really, really don’t like Franklin theTurtle. Those red fingernails give me the creeps.)

  6. While I really do enjoy your blog very much (and I definitely agree that this book looks more than a little ridiculous), I’m going to risk coming across as over-sensitive by pointing out that it seems as though every time you feature a book related to Canada you reference poutine, beer, and hockey. Really?
    Of course, everybody knows that we Canadians only manage to make it through our long, cold years of never-ending winter by hunkering down in front of Hockey Night in Canada with hearty helpings of poutine and beer, but we do occasionally enjoy other food items and recreational pursuits. Just sayin’! Eh?
    By the way, don’t you ladies live in Michigan? Ever taken a trip south of Detroit to Windsor, Ontario? I promise we have a ton of great restaurants offering a range of cuisines from our very multicultural residents. And we’ve managed to get our wandering moose problem under control, so you’re perfectly safe!
    I really do love your blog, and as a librarian, I love the attention you’re giving to collection weeding and development. I’m not some militant Canuck, I swear! Just a very proud one – and proud to have you as close geographical neighbours. So stop reinforcing Canadians’ opinions of Americans as dense about us! I know you’re not! 🙂

    1. Don’t worry @Dayna!. I love Canada as my second country! (I don’t think it is possible to live in Metro Detroit and not hang out in Windsor every now and then I also spent countless summers as a kid in rural Ontario. Please chalk up my jokes to lack of creativity rather than anything less than total Canada love.. I still don’t “get” poutine, but also I have had folks from parts beyond not “get” the awesomeness of a Detroit coney or a UP pasty.

  7. If this book is by the author who gave us Franklin the Turtle, get ready to give the kids anti-depressants when they’re learning about recycling. No one whines and mopes as much as Franklin, who seems to approach every childhood activity with a sense of despair and defeat. Are we a nation of two equal parts, depressed and depressing? No wonder no one cares to know anything about us. (boohoo)

  8. Oh, I love Big Sarah’s Little Boots! My parents-in-law have it from when their kids were small, in Swedish translation but it’s a good kids book. I’ve only read one Franklin book and all I know is it kicked the tv show’s backside from here to tomorrow. The tv show is awful (and don’t get me started on the Olivia tv show, that is DIRE, it KILLS the books).

    Kendra, tell us more about what is specifically Canadian in this one! I am really curious. Was the nation flooded with American books on rubbish collecting at the time?

  9. This is the single most surprising title of any I’ve seen in Awful Library Books. Deviants notwithstanding.

    P.S. I have Canadian cousins near St. Mary’s and they are dear, sweet people … kind of makes me wish our branch hadn’t come south.

  10. Vincent: You know what the funniest thing about Canada is?
    Jules: What?
    Vincent: It’s the little differences. A lotta the same s*** we got here, they got there, but there they’re a little different.
    Jules: Example?
    Vincent: You know what they put on French fries in Canada instead of ketchup?
    Jules: What?
    Vincent: Cheese curds and gravy. I’ve seen ’em do it, man. They f***ing drown ’em in that s***.

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