Garbage that’s scary

The Red Deer Waste Management Facility will provide some scary fun on Saturday during a Waste Reduction Day Spooktacular event.

The Red Deer Waste Management Facility will provide some scary fun on Saturday during a Waste Reduction Day Spooktacular event.

Local residents don’t have to be haunted by the amount of garbage that’s piling up in their yards, houses or garages — they can haul old batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, electronic and other hazardous waste to the landfill, say event organizers.

Halloween candy, cookies and hot chocolate will be available at the first annual Spooktacular, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the City of Red Deer’s Waste Management Facility.

Ballots for the chance to win an iPad will be handed out in exchange for the various waste that’s brought in. Up to six ballots per person will be given for the following:

• bringing in old batteries

• dropping off used compact fluorescent light bulbs

• bringing e-waste (computers, monitors, TVs)

• taking in household hazardous waste (old paint, chemical cleaners)

• dressing in costume

• and coming with a travel mug.

“We really want to make this a fun event for families,” and at the same time create a learning opportunity to promote the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle, added Lauren Maris, environmental program specialist for the City of Red Deer.

“We want people to understand the connection between the waste they produce and where it ends up.”

Bus tours of the landfill are scheduled to run on the hour between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The city’s waste management facility takes dropoffs of household hazardous wastes, recycling materials and electronics to keep these items out of the landfill. This is important because of the increasing amount of garbage that residents of growing Red Deer produce.

City statistics show that 1.6 million tonnes of garbage were buried in the old local landfill in the nearly three decades between 1972 and 2001, while more than 1.2 million tonnes of waste have already been packed into the new landfill since it opened in 2001.

“The more people reduce their consumption, reuse items or give them away to others and recycle … the more we can extend the life of our landfill,” said Janet Whitesell, waste management superintendent for the city.

The city’s waste management facility already gives regular tours to Grade 4 students, as part of their curriculum. Maris said, “We thought maybe we should open our doors to everybody … to see what kind of spooky (hazardous) items they can bring in!”

For more information, call visit www.reddeer.ca/waste.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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