NEW INITIATIVE - From left

City expands recycling program to allow for all plastics

  • Dec. 9, 2015 3:24 p.m.

The City of Red Deer is expanding its recycling operations.

During a special announcement at the Waste Management Facility on Monday, the City announced they will now be accepting all numbered plastics for the recycling program, effective immediately.

“Starting today, our residents can put plastics one through seven in their blue box,” said Waste Management Superintendent Janet Whitesell during the press conference.

Previously, residents had only been able to put number two plastics into their blue bins.

“Historically we’ve accepted number two plastics in the blue box program because they have strong and stable markets, so it’s been quite a long time,” Whitesell said.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer this expanded service to our customers. It’s something that we routinely hear from our customers that they would like to able to recycle more items so we’re really excited that we’re able to increase our service level and meet that expectation for them.”

The expansion is one of those outlined in the City’s Waste Management Master Plan and aims to help the City reach waste diversion targets.

“Out of our City’s Waste Management Master Plan we’ve set some fairly aggressive diversion targets, so we want to reduce the amount of garbage that our residents put out at the curb and we want to reduce the amount of garbage that is being buried in the landfill,” she said.

“Today’s move builds capacity into our existing Waste Management Facility, recognizing that we can extend the life of our current waste management facility by doing the right thing. Now that markets have stabilized for plastics, instead of just accepting number two plastics, we can accept numbers one through seven as well,” said Mayor Tara Veer, adding the goal for the City is environmental sustainability.

“This on top of our organics processing pilot, we’ll certainly see the environmental and financial investment pay back for years to come for Red Deerians.”

According to Whitesell, the new changes will make the recycling process more convenient for residents.

“Checking what type of plastic and whether or not it was number two, now it’s just a lot easier. As long as it’s a numbered plastic, it doesn’t matter the number.”

Items such as Styrofoam, plastic bags, and unnumbered containers will still not be accepted by the City.

According to a press release given out by the City, the expansion will not affect current monthly utility fees for homeowners. The new service does mean the City will incur some extra costs, but these were already incorporated into the 2016 utility rates.

Blue boxes are collected on the same day as garbage and will be picked up on all statutory holidays with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. For a full list of acceptable items that can go in the blue box, visit reddeer.ca/recycling.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

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