When it comes to taking out the trash, Red Deer homeowners are showing regard for the environment.
Most city residents have chosen the compact small black carts for the waste that will go to the landfill, rather than the voluminous large carts that hold more garbage bags.
The majority of city households will get medium-sized black carts when they are delivered in April, along with new blue carts for recyclables.
Seventeen per cent of city households opted for the 120-litre black carts (that hold 1.5 garbage bags), while eight per cent opted for the 360-litre black carts (that hold 4.5 garbage bags).
This means 74 per cent of householders went with the default option of medium-size 240-litre black carts (that hold three garbage bags).
Although no action was required of city residents (those who did not specifically ask for small or large carts will automatically get medium carts), development services director Kelly Kloss said the city still received a 40 per cent response rate from the community.
“It made us feel good,” he said, adding it indicated many people were putting some thought into how much garbage they produce.
Waste collection fees are set according to which size of black cart is chosen, with smaller fees acting as an incentive for households to create less landfilled waste, and do more recycling/composting.
Residents who chose the small black carts will pay a monthly total of $18.25 for their waste collection (which also includes the pickup fee for blue recycling and green organic carts).
Those with medium carts will pay $22.25 monthly, while those with large carts will pay $28.25.
Although the size of blue carts for recyclables has no bearing on how much Red Deerians will pay for garbage collection, only 10 per cent of households chose large blue carts, compared to 74 per cent who chose medium carts and 16 per cent who chose small carts.
Kloss said there’s still a chance for residents to change their minds about cart size without incurring an extra fee.
Beginning the first week in May, new garbage collection schedules will start in the city. While everybody’s green carts for lawn and food wastes and will be collected weekly, the black and blue carts will be collected on alternating weeks.
Glass will not be accepted in the blue recycling carts, but it can be taken directly to the city’s waste processing facility.
Kloss said a garbage collection schedule will be provided to householders with the delivery of their black and blue carts. Anyone with further questions can call the blue line at 403-340-BLUE (2583).
Coun. Tanya Handley said the city has tried to raise awareness of how the new three-cart garbage collection system will work once the new blue and black ones are added to the green organic carts, but some people are still in the dark.
She still talks to the occasional person who thinks all garbage should be stuffed into the green cart instead of just organic wastes.
“There are some people out there who are still not getting it… We have to keep the education going,” she said.