Project to begin in March 2012
The City of Calgary has announced the four communities that will participate in the residential food and yard waste pilot project. The communities of Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood will all be receiving green carts and starting the service in March of 2012.
In all, nearly 8,000 homes will be included in the pilot project that will test weekly collection of food and yard waste. During the test, the city will be collecting black garbage carts every other week to maintain efficiency of the waste and recycling program.
“Food and yard waste makes up nearly 60 per cent of residential garbage going to landfill,” said Dave Griffiths, Director of Waste & Recycling Services. Also, food and yard material in a landfill do not break down into compost, but instead produce carbon dioxide and methane. Both are powerful gases that contribute to climate change. Griffiths says composting these materials represent the biggest opportunity to achieve the City’s goal of diverting 80 per cent of waste from landfills by 2020 for the residential sector.
“By composting food and yard waste, instead of sending it to the landfill, we can reduce waste and greenhouse gases, decrease our dependence on landfills and produce compost, a valuable product,” said Griffiths.
Each home participating in the pilot project who currently use blue and black cart collection will receive a green cart, kitchen pail and compostable pail liners for food waste and paper yard waste bags. Participants will also receive an information package outlining how the project works and what materials are accepted along with a collection schedule.
There is no charge to the participants.
The green carts are about half the size of the blue and black carts the city is now using. During the pilot project, residents will use the green carts for their compostable materials such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, bones, food-soiled paper and dairy products as well as yard waste. Residents can use the paper bags provided by the city for additional yard waste.
The carts will be emptied weekly, just like the blue recycling carts. For communities in the pilot project, black carts will be picked up every other week. This is because the City is anticipating less household waste once food and yard waste are not entering the black carts. Also, green carts will be picked up weekly as the material inside the carts are likely to decompose and produce odours. Two carts will only be collected on the same day. In a week where the third cart is to be emptied, that will happen on a separated day during the same week. The Waste and Recycling Department will be testing different combinations, either blue and black carts on the same day or blue and green carts together.
During the project, Waste and Recycling Services will communicate with the participants via open houses, direct mail, instructional materials included with the carts, community newsletters, educator visits and all the information is available on the City of Calgary website (calgary.ca/greencart).
Feedback from participants will be collected throughout the pilot and Waste & Recycling Services will report back to Council by March 2013 with results of the pilot and recommendations for a city-wide program.
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