Holly and Boone Alaric are happy to get their green cart for organic waste (photo contributed by City of Red Deer).

Get ready for first organic waste pickup in Red Deer on April 9

About 40 per cent of waste to be diverted from landfill

The last green carts are being delivered to Red Deer households this week, as preparations get underway for the first organic waste pickup on April 9.

Waste management superintendent Janet Whitesell expects a total of about 27,200 green carts will be dispersed to local households by the end of Friday. Barring unforeseen circumstances, she anticipates this to be the last day of deliveries.

Most Red Deer residents have given the large, wheeled receptacles a positive reception, but a few were less excited, said Whitesell. “They don’t think they’ll have that much organic material.”

But she believes these people will be surprised to see how much waste can be diverted from the landfill through the municipal composting program. A pilot project showed there was about 39 per cent less garbage landfilled once the organic waste was removed.

Whitesell noted compostable yard waste, including grass cuttings and branches, can also be placed in the green carts, which will be picked up by an automatic arm on waste management trucks.


Green cart pilot begins

Some Red Deer residents have questioned whether to buy cart liners, and which kind to use?

Whitesell said it’s up to each household to determine whether to buy large compostable bags — which are available at most places where garbage bags are sold — or simply hose out the green cart every so often to clean it.

Inside each cart is a smaller container that can be kept under the sink for kitchen scraps. Whitesell said small compostable liners can be purchased for these containers — or residents can also use paper bags or even newspapers to line them.

Where to keep the green cart is another conundrum. Whether in the yard, garage, or near the back door, Whitesell said people will have to figure out what works best for their household.

Organic waste pickup will begin next month at the same locations where garbage is currently left out. For more city residents, it will be in back alleys.

Whitesell understands that using green carts will be a “learning curve,” but she believes it won’t take long to get used to separating compostable waste.


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