City takes ‘green’ step with cutting garbage allowance

Red Deer City council made a step in the right direction earlier this week as they voted in favour of a policy change that will see the residential waste collection program unit limit reduced from five units to three.

The change is in alignment with the Waste Management Master Plan (WMMP). With council’s decision to reduce the weekly unit limit for residential waste collection it is in turn making progress in reducing Red Deer’s per capita disposal rate to its target of 500 kg per capita per year.

Yes, for some residents this will require a change in behaviour. Some Red Deerians are used to throwing everything in the garbage, whether it can be recycled or not. Paying more attention to recyclables will not only be better for the environment as a whole, but it will be beneficial for the City as well.

But for most, this change won’t be hard as survey data of resident behaviour has shown that the average number of waste units set out by households in Red Deer is 1.8 units per week with 6% of residents consistently setting out four or more units on a weekly basis. A unit of waste is defined as a bag or can with a 100 litre capacity. The City uses the term unit as bags and cans come in various shapes and sizes. A unit of garbage is used to ensure consistency in determining how much waste can be set out.

Recent surveys also show that 77% of residents indicated they would support the limit reduction following the recent recycling expansion to include all numbered plastics in the blue box program. This is good news as the new three unit limit is set to begin mid-May.

Previously, the residential waste collection program allowed residents to place up to five units of waste for weekly collection as well as unlimited recycling and yard waste collection.

Residents will continue to have the option of purchasing extra waste tags for $1 per tag, which can be affixed to a garbage bag. Extra units of waste set out without the extra waste tags will simply be left behind and can be set out the following week, or taken to the Waste Management Facility.

Part of the proposed policy change includes extra waste tags being available for purchase at City facilities for $1. It is proposed that households would receive a select number of waste tags to help transition to the new waste collection limit.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as we suspect alleyways will be more littered with trash bags of people who rebel against the new bylaw.

There are several ways that residents can start to scale back their waste output including increased recycling, especially now that all numbered plastics are acceptable in the blue box.

Bulky plastic containers and bottles should now be placed in the blue box, reducing waste output. Additionally, organic waste including food scraps accounts for about 40% of a typical household’s garbage. Reducing food waste, taking part in the yard waste collection program and backyard composting will significantly cut down on organic waste.

Residents can also set out an unlimited amount of recyclables and yard waste each week. However, each yard waste bag or can must weigh less than 25 kg (55 lbs.)

Meanwhile, council also heard the blue (recyclables) and black (garbage) cart pilot is scheduled to start in Red Deer next month and will see collection frequency reduced to bi-weekly.

A full scale bi-weekly blue and black cart program is scheduled for 2018 following the green cart (organic waste) roll out in 2017. This is also good news and leadership shown by our City council. We applaud them for these initiatives.

Just Posted

Mustard Seed gets support again from PCN Women’s Fun Run

Run raised just over $20,000 last year for The Mustard Seed

Red Deer RCMP make several arrests this month

Recent arrests include the seizure of various drugs and weapons

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Creep Catcher member sentenced in Red Deer court Monday

Carl Young to be fined and placed on probation for 12 months, among other conditions

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

WATCH: Setters Place officially opens in advance of the 2019 Canada Games

Red Deer is one step closer to the 2019 Canada Winter Games the opening of Setters Place

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read