City rolls out Green Cart pilot project

Letters are in the mail for the 2,000 households that made the cut in the city’s new Green Cart pilot.

Letters are in the mail for the 2,000 households that made the cut in the city’s new Green Cart pilot.

Starting on April 23, residents will be able to dump their food scraps, soiled paper, pet waste and other organics into a green cart. It will be picked up on regular garbage collection day.

The pilot will run for two years and it may go city-wide in 2017.

The homes were randomly selected to reflect a variety of demographics. They were further broken down by neighbourhood, home assessment value, back alley or front collection and the year the home was built.

About 600 carts will be picked up on either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at selected homes on a variety of neighbourhood streets.

Janet Whitesell, the city’s waste management superintendent, said some people may be across the street from a home in a pilot and may question the efficiency and why their house isn’t on the pilot. She said the city wanted the pilot to represent the city as whole.

“We had some of those conversations as we were designing it and it may make sense on the map,” said Whitesell. “But then we may have too many houses built in the 1990s compare to what the rest of the city is like.”

Whitesell said choosing the number of homes in the pilot and trying to be efficient were challenges.

She said 2,000 is a high number for a pilot, representing nearly seven per cent of the city’s 30,000 single-family homes.

“If you’re only doing 500 households, you will not get enough of the demographics,” said Whitesell. “And it’s not going to be efficient to have a truck. Certainly it was challenging to balance.”

Carts will be picked up in Highland Green, West Park, Oriole Park and West Lake on Monday.

On Tuesday the trucks will pick up carts in Glendale, Pines, Timberlands, Kentwood, Mustang Acres and College Park.

On Wednesday, it travels to Parkvale, Grandview, Mountview, Sunnybrook and Inglewood.

About 40 per cent of all household waste is organic and can be diverted from the landfill.

“It is really exciting for us,” said Whitesell. “It’s a big win if you think you can get 40 per cent of what’s in your garbage out of it and divert it to composting, that’s pretty awesome. The pilot will help us iron out and design the best program that we can. The folks on the pilot have a chance to be leaders in our community and help us learn from their experiences.”

A contractor will pick up the carts and transport them to Stickland Farms, a composting facility, west of Penhold. The resulting compost will be used on local agricultural land.

Homes in the pilot will not be charged for the service but once the city-wide program is launched, a fee will be tacked on to residential utility bills.

Carts will be delivered between April 20 and 23. An official launch to kick off the pilot is slated for April 20.

The pilot is one of the initiatives that aligns with the city’s Waste Management Master and Environmental Master Plans that aim to reduce the garbage that is sent to the landfill.

Many municipalities across Alberta and Canada operate similar collection programs, including Calgary, Airdrie and Leduc.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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