June 24th, 2024

Curbside organics program could reduce waste per capita

By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 4, 2022.

Herald file photo A crew delivers green bins in Legacy Ridge ahead of the first phase of the curbside organics program earlier this spring.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The potential exists to divert as much as 50 per cent of materials being hauled to the landfill prior to the implementation of the City’s green cart program.

That information was contained in a report presented Thursday to the Civic Works Standing Policy committee of city council by Steve Rozee, general manager of the City Waste and Recycling department.

Residential waste diversion targets for 2021 haven’t yet been achieved, states the report, but with the implementation of the curbside organics program, there is an opportunity to reduce waste per capita to less than 100 kilograms which would achieve targets proved in the Waste Diversion Policy of 2015.

City council on June 1, 2021 approved implementation of the green cart program which was the last step in the waste diversion program.

When it’s fully implemented, the service will provide organics pickup to 34,500 single-family homes and 7,500 multi-family residences.

The program, said Rozee’s report, will supplement the city’s three community yard waste sites that operate from April until November.

All single-family dwellings will have curbside organics pickup by next spring with multi-family residences getting collection in the fall of 2023 with rollout being done in phases based on property size.

The first phase of the program had 1,900 city homes getting carts in May.

A report on the first phase shows the average weight for carts collected has been 10 kg per cart and the main contaminant has been plastic bags. Collections data show that cart contents have been 98 per cent organic with two per cent contamination. The City has done 1,330 cart inspections and 109 were tagged for contamination.

The City has picked up a total of 39,900 carts with 207,920 kg of organics diverted from the black garbage carts, says the report.

Suitable material for the green carts include kitchen and table scraps, food-soiled paper, shredded paper yard waste and small branches.

Not allowed is plastic, hygiene products and household products such as wipes, construction materials, ashes, animal waste or carcasses.

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