Local briefs – April 24

Red Deer schools are invited to join a race to see which one can collect the most dead and dying batteries for recycling.

Battery contest planned

Red Deer schools are invited to join a race to see which one can collect the most dead and dying batteries for recycling.

To help encourage people to recycle their old batteries, the City of Red Deer has kicked off its first-ever school battery drive. The winning school gets to use the Kerry Wood Nature Centre’s planetarium for a week while two runners up will each get a decorated rain barrel.

Many people are unaware that old batteries, even the tiny ones, are a form of hazardous waste, say Pam Vust, environmental initiatives co-ordinator for the City of Red Deer, and Todd Nivens, programs co-ordinator at Kerry Wood Nature Centre. Environmental Services and the nature centre are working together on the project.

“The battery drive is designed to make it easy for people to recycle their batteries and prevent them from getting into the landfill,” said Vust.

Participating schools will be given barrels to sort and collect old batteries. Alkaline batteries are to be sorted separately from rechargeable batteries, which are put through a different process, said Vust. Car batteries are not accepted.

Participating schools weigh in during the windup barbecue at Kerry Wood Nature Centre on May 22.

Information about the battery drive is available from Nivens at 403-346-2010, ext. 106.

To learn more about hazardous waste programs in Red Deer, visit www.reddeer.ca/envservices or call 403-342-8750.

Trail report coming soon

A final report on the plans for the Rocky Mountain House to Nordegg Trail will be released by the end of May.

Mike Haugen, community and protective services manager for Clearwater County, said the county will still accept feedback from people on the draft plans for the next couple of days to be considered for the report.

The final report will include the costs of the project and the phases in which it will be completed.

The three-metre wide trail is expected to have rest stops, picnic sites and a few remote campsites.

It will be open for both motorized and non-motorized traffic.

A name hasn’t yet been chosen, but some of the contenders include: Martin Nordegg Trail, Coal Miners’ Trail, North Saskatchewan Valley Trail and Clearwater Heritage Trail.

Haugen said once the final report is finished, the next step will be moving forward with implementation.

A management agreement will need to be drawn up, likely between Clearwater County and the province, and many government approvals will be needed for stream crossings, development and construction along the trail.

Designs for the bridges, culverts, staging areas, road and highway crossings have yet to be determined.

Haugen said once the final report is completed they will also start to examine possible funding for the project. Organizers also want to create and emergency response plan and a trail stewards plan to look after the trail system.

Anyone wishing to contribute feedback on the plan can contact Mike Haugen by e-mail at mhaugen@county.clearwater.ab.ca or by mail at 4340 47 Ave, Box 550, Rocky Mountain House, AB, T4T 1A4.

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