Council approves aggressive waste management plan

  • May. 15, 2013 7:03 p.m.

Red Deer City council has approved an aggressive waste management plan that will aim to see a 34% decrease in waste generated at the curbside by 2023.

The final report of the Waste Management Master Plan was presented and unanimously approved by council Monday afternoon. It will be used as a planning document.

After much public consultation the final plan was drafted and it’s one that City staff are proud of. “We confirmed that the things in the master plan were the things that residents wanted to see in there and we didn’t identify anything through the process that was missed. There wasn’t something that everybody was talking about that we didn’t have in the draft plan,” said Janet Whitesell, waste management superintendent.

The report indicates that 63% of City garbage is generated by the commercial sector, while 30% is from residential and 7% is from multi-family. As for what is picked up, 73% is garbage, 16% is recycling and 11% is yard waste.

Some of the projects within the master plan include providing organics diversion, expanding the collection of plastics, and reducing the limit of bags allowed per week.

As the master plan was being developed, community consultation was key. Almost 1,000 residents took part in an online survey and about 850 residents attended public meetings regarding the issue.

“One thing that really stood out to me about this plan was the strong public feedback at the outset and I think that makes for a good plan when we are hearing from our public and we can build the plan with a very grassroots approach and it’s part of the strength of this document,” said Councillor Tara Veer. “I also really like the area around residential organics and some of the recycling and composting opportunities that were identified in some of the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors.

“This document lays everything out on the table but it provides us with a good vision and framework.”

Councillor Chris Stephan also said he was impressed with the plan.

“In the past I’ve been critical about some of the plans we’ve adopted and sometimes a little bit harsh in terms of the use of consultants. In this case I’m really happy with what we have come up with,” he said.

“It’s a good planning tool. It’s ambitious but not unrealistic. It’s going to save us money in the long-term and result in long-term sustainability.”