Red Deerians could soon see a City-wide roll out of green carts for garbage disposal.
City council tabled the item up for discussion at this week’s council meeting, but it will be back on the table at the April 18th council meeting.
If approved, the motion will see the implementation of the Green Cart Program in April 2018 to be followed by a Blue and Black Cart Program roll out in the spring of 2019.
In April 2015 the green cart pilot launched followed by a blue and black cart pilot in May 2016. There were about 2,000 households in the pilot, selected to represent the demographics of the City as a whole. The Green Cart Pilot was launched with the goals of reducing waste at pilot households and testing various program aspects, to assist with determining recommendations for a City-wide program.
Pilot households were provided with a 240 litre green cart and a start-up package which included a kitchen catcher, educational materials and a sample pack of compostable bags.
Green Carts are collected year-round, on a weekly basis, and the collection vehicle is equipped with a hydraulic arm to pick up and empty the carts automatically. Food waste, pet waste and yard waste are all accepted in the green carts.
The blue and black carts became part of the pilot program for recycling and garbage collection, respectively. Blue and black carts are collected every other week, on an alternating schedule.
Since the pilot program 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, in line with the pre-pilot estimate that 40% of a household’s waste could be diverted through an organics program, according to council notes.
In addition, City council also received a report on Monday regarding the reduction of a garbage bag limit which was implemented last May. At that time, council approved reducing the number of units collected weekly from five to three.
Council heard five courtesy waste tags were provided to assist residents in making the transition to a lower unit number and free waste tags were available to residents during the Christmas season which only 2% of the households in Red Deer took advantage of.
The report concluded that now residents have had time to adjust to the new bag limit, further education campaigns specifically targeting the unit limit are not required and extra waste tags will continue to be available for purchase.