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Ward 11 News: City of Calgary Green Cart Program

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Ward 11 official website
On May 30, 2016 Council approved the Calgary Green Cart Program.  The green cart rollout will begin in spring of 2017, timed with the scheduled opening of the Organics Composting Facility located on the Shepard Waste Management Facility.  All eligible homes, meaning single-family homes up to and including four-plexes, should have the Green Cart Service by fall 2017.
Why composting?
Food and yard waste account for more than half of the garbage from Calgary homes. Many Calgarians are surprised to learn that food and yard waste does not break down in the landfill.
As we face serious landfill challenges – financial implications of poor environmental management and limitations on physical space for new construction, we as a City need to holistically address our environmental impacts. Organic material is still a valuable resource, even in its discarded state. On a city-wide basis, this translates into over 85,000 tonnes of annual waste being turned into useful compost for our gardens, parks and farms. This also helps us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which aligns with the City’s work to address Climate Change in Calgary.
How much will I pay?
Council approved an indicative rate for 2017 and 2018 of $6.50 per household per month for the Green Cart Program. This monthly fee will help pay for weekly green cart collection, building and operating the compost facility, buying green carts, as well as education and marketing of the compost product.
Can I opt out?
No. If you are a resident that currently receives blue cart service, then you will also receive green cart service.
There were conversations about a possible opt-out for this program at Council.  Council ultimately decided against an opt-out.  If an opt-out had been available the monthly charge for the program would have been significantly higher, or the program would need to be further subsidized through the tax base.  Further to cost savings, in order to achieve a significant reduction in garbage we send to landfills, it needs to be a universal program so we can all do our part to keep food and yard waste out of the landfills. The benefit of commercial composting is that materials that cannot be composting in a backyard system can now be put into the green bin (bones, breads, meat, pet waste, grass clippings, branches, etc). 
What will I receive?
When the carts are delivered, you will receive:
·         A green cart for curb side pickup (similar to the current blue/black bin)
·         An in-home kitchen pail to conveniently collect food scraps inside your home
·         A sample of compostable bags to line the kitchen pail
·         A sample of paper yard waste bags to use for surplus yard waste that does not fit inside the green cart
How often will carts be picked up?
Green and blue carts will be picked up every week on the same day. Black carts will be picked up once every two weeks on a separate day. By moving the black cart pick up to a bi-weekly schedule, the City will save will $10M a year.  These savings will be transferred to reduce the fees on the green cart program.
Read about the success of the Green Cart Pilot Program!

Many Calgarians expressed concern when the blue bin recycling program was introduced a number of years ago.  Now Calgarians are accustomed to recycling frequently and the blue bin program has become a normal aspect of our lives.  The same will likely be true of the green bin composting program.  This program has the potential to save the City significant money in the long run and provide a more environmentally responsible approach to waste management.



This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.

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