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Calgary's waste and recycling history

Below you will find highlights of our waste and recycling history. From our first Christmas tree recycling program in 1992 to our recent Blue, Black and Green carts.

2015 - New waste diversion target

Calgary City Council approved a target of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2025 in all sectors. This includes single homes and multi-family residential, business and organizations, and construction and demolition.

2015 - Construction begins on composting facility

Construction started Sept. 2015 on the indoor composting facility. It's located at Shepard Waste Management Facility and will be complete for 2017. The Green Cart Program for food and yard waste from single-family homes will launch city-wide in mid-2017.

2015 - Collection day reminder tool

We introduced a new online collection day reminder tool that residents can use to check their collection day(s). They can also download and print a custom calendar, and sign up for automatic reminders via email, text or voicemail.

2014 - Snowtember - September snowstorm batters urban forest

A heavy snowfall damaged thousands of trees in Calgary. More than 26 million kilograms of tree debris was brought to City landfills. That's enough to fill the football field at McMahon Stadium about 40 metres deep. We mulched all of those branches and debris so they could be used in Calgary parks.

2014 - New scalehouse at East Calgary

We opened a new scalehouse at the East Calgary landfill, improving access and service for customers to the site.

2013 - Flood cleanup

Our landfills received about 100,000 tonnes of debris from the flood of June 2013. Our crews roamed neighbourhoods for weeks after the event to help residents clean up.

2012 - Green Cart composting pilot

We introduced the Green Cart pilot to four Calgary communities in 2012. After one year of the pilot, more than 1.9 million kilograms of food and yard waste were composted.

2011 - Black Cart automated garbage pickup

We launched the Black Cart garbage collection service in 2010.

2009 - Blue Cart Recycling

We provide Blue Cart recycling service to about 300,000 homes. We also supply community recycling depots throughout the city.

2006 – Landfill Gas Recovery & Utilization

We began using garbage to create electricity - enough to power 1,600 homes per year.

2004 – Residential Recycling Pilot Project

We launched our second recycling pilot. We tested curbside collection of residential recyclables and yard and food waste.

2004 – Compost Facility Opens

In our first year, we composted 1,635,000 kg of leaves and pumpkins at the site.

2003 – E-cycling Round-Up

The first ever electronics recycling round-up collected 220,000 kg of electronics equipment for recycling. Learn more about Electronics Recycling.

1999 – First Backyard Composter Sale

We hosted our first Backyard Composter Sale to encourage residents to compost.

1997 – Three-year Tire Recycling Project

Over two million tires were removed from the Shepard Landfill as part of a three-year project to recycle tires. The tires were shredded and made into items such as rubber bricks and playground equipment.

1994 - Throw 'n' Go facility at Spyhill Landfill Site

Our first Throw 'n' Go facility offers safe and easy access to residents dropping off waste from smaller vehicles.

1992 – First Christmas Tree Drop-off

We collected over 140 tonnes of trees at the first Christmas Tree Drop-off held at fire halls across the city. Learn more about our Christmas Tree Recycling Progam.

1992 – First Seven Recycling Drop-off Depots in Place

The original depots collected newspapers glass and metal cans. We now have about 50 depots and accept a wider range of recyclable materials.

1991 – Residential Leaf Collection Program

This was our first attempt at a city-wide residential composting program and the start of us exploring composting options. Learn more about our Leaf and Pumpkin Drop-off program.

1991 – Residential Recycling Pilot

We did a pilot on residential recycling options including blue-box and drop-off depots. After a full year of evaluation, City Council approved a drop-off style of collection. This was the best balance of cost, volume of material collected and resident participation at the time.