May 24th, 2024

Green cart program getting support from residents


By Lethbridge Herald on April 22, 2024.

A payloader carries a load of organic compost to be added to a pile on Monday morning at the organics processing facility at the City’s Waste and Recycling Centre. Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman

Alejandra Pulido-Guzman – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – apulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge celebrated Earth Day Monday by thanking residents for supporting the green cart program during its first year and helping to keep thousands of organic materials out of the landfill. 

James Nicholls, Collections Manager, Waste & Environment department said it was exciting to share some positive statistics with residents on how the program has worked for the past year. 

“Since May 2023 we’ve collected almost six million kilograms of organic waste in the green cart program. That averages out to approximately 175 kgs of organic waste per household,” said Nicholls.

He said that amount has been diverted from the landfill and is now being processed into high quality compost that can be sold or given away to residents. 

“We’ve actually had five compost giveaways since the beginning of the program and we’ve given away over 57,000 kilograms of material,” said Nicholls. 

He said they are very encouraged to see the initial statistics as over 85 per cent of residents are utilizing their green carts. Less than one per cent of residents refused delivery. Of those who initially refused, approximately 17 per cent changed their mind and later requested one.

“We know change can be hard to adapt to, especially when it comes to household routines,” says Nicholls.

 “However, the results we’re seeing show residents support this change, which ultimately benefits our community for years to come.”

As the weather starts to warm up, Nicholls said his team is getting ready for the move to the weekly collection of green carts which will begin next week. 

“Collecting every week during the warmer months allows us to help divert all the yard waste we see as people start their gardening for the year,” said Nicholls. 

He said the City noticed a drop in green cart usage during the winter months because yard waste was not being collected, but residents were still using it often for other materials such as food scraps. 

Nicholls said the City is looking for feedback on the program and there are multiple ways residents can provide it. 

“First one that we like to emphasize is our Lethbridge Loop app, they can go on that app and get those collection reminders. They can go onto the app and get information on what’s in and what’s up because there’s a lot of different materials that we’re asking people to divert,” said Nicholls. 

He added that if people don’t want to download the app they can call 311 or go on the city’s website. 

“Or if you want to come and talk to myself or a couple of my coworkers, we also have our community conversations event coming up this Thursday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Enmax Centre so come on down and chat with us about curbside organics or anything else we’re doing here,” said Nicholls.

When talking about ways residents can better utilize their green cart and ways of helping them minimize the “yuck factor,” Nicholls suggested using cereal boxes to conceal kitchen scraps, lining the collection pail in the kitchen with paper bags or paper towels that have been used to clean the counters with water. 

Nicholls said that even though the first year has yielded great results, there is still room for growth. 

“We saw a 14 per cent reduction in the amount of organics that were found in the black cart, but we know that there’s another 37 per cent, from our waste composition audits, that is still making it into the black cart,” said Nicholls. 

He said they understand it takes time for programs to mature, so at this point they are focusing on education and outreach without doing anything. 

“We’re just trying to encourage residents as the program matures to try and do the right thing and look at ways in their own household to divert that waste,” said Nicholls. 

Kathleen Sheppard, executive director of Environment Lethbridge told reporters that the green cart and organics collection program is part of the success stories Lethbridge can talk about. 

“We’ve really made some great strides in the city, first with the blue carts and now with the green carts,” said Sheppard.

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Citi Zen

No support here. How many residents did they interview, maybe 6? Never use it, a total waste of money, plastic and storage space. All these carts are making Lethbridge look like slum city. This is all about Nicholls trying to justify his job with fake news.

Last edited 1 month ago by Citi Zen
buckwheat

There is no way in hec that I would have 175 kg

brouhaha

You’re fake news

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