Red Deer City council gets it right

Moving towards more recycling options and composting options is a positive step

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Red Deer City council made a step in the right direction earlier this week as they voted in favour of a City-wide roll-out of the Cart Pilot Project.

Yes, Red Deerians have to wait a year until we begin to see the carts on our doorsteps, but the change is definitely a welcome one.

For many of us, this means a change in behaviour, much like when the City made a policy change that saw the residential waste collection program unit limit reduced from five units to three. However, council recently heard this change resulted in positive feedback from residents and ultimately less waste.

Red Deerians will begin to see the cart roll-out next April when residents will receive green carts to dispose of organics, such as yard waste, food scraps and pet waste for year-round, regular pickup and composting.

It’s a great time to introduce the new system as residents are out preparing their yards for summer.

In early 2019, residents will also receive blue carts for recycling and black carts for regular garbage collection.

Education will be needed for residents and council showed commitment to that on Monday night as they expressed interest in some sort of public engagement campaign. Changing behaviour is not always an easy task. Red Deerians will have to get used to not only a new way of waste disposal, but new a pick up routine as not all of the waste will be picked up weekly like we’re used to. Green carts will be picked up every week, and waste and recycling carts (blue and black) will be picked up every other week.

The Cart Pilot Project began a couple years ago when 2,000 households received the carts. Since the pilot project began, households involved have set out an average of 27 kg of garbage per household per month. During the same time period, non-pilot households set out an average of 44 kg per household per month. This represents a 39% reduction in garbage.

This number is huge and the pilot proved to be a success. Imagine what that number will represent when the whole City takes part.

Not only will Red Deerians be doing their part, it will lengthen the lifespan of the current waste management facility and landfill site. A win-win for residents and officials alike.

We applaud City council for this initiative.

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