Green Cart program update
The Food and Yard Waste Pilot program was completed in March and Waste & Recycling Services has now had the opportunity to analyze the results and make recommendations to Council. The results of the pilot study were presented to the SPC on Utilities and Corporate Services on April 3 and heard by Council on April 15 at a Special Strategic Planning Meeting of Council.
At the April 15 meeting, we directed Administration to proceed with the preparation of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) documents for a City-owned, private sector Design-Build-Operate composting facility. Administration was also directed to return to Council through the Priorities and Finance Committee with capital budget requests for an organics and biosolids composting facility.
On May 14, the Priorities and Finance Committee passed a set of recommendations that went to Council on May 27, including the capital budget requests referenced above. Council’s direction gives Waste & Recycling Services the approval to proceed with a city-owned composting facility that will be privately designed, built and operated. Next steps include getting approvals from the Provincial government and preparing a request for qualified partners from the private sector.
W&RS will report back to Council in 2014 with funding options for a city-wide Green Cart program, which will cost approximately $26 million annually to operate after savings from changing garbage collection to every second week.
The Green Cart pilot in four communities showed us that citizens are willing to support that change as the pilot participants were able to reduce their garbage by about 40 per cent. Council will decide if the city-wide program is covered through a monthly fee or property taxes.
Thank you to Cougar Ridge residents
Our thanks go out to the Cougar Ridge community for your participation in the pilot program. Your feedback and recommendations are integral to the design of a city-wide program. The survey results were very positive from all four pilot communities and high levels of program participation were reported by Waste & Recycling Services.
Multi-Family Recycling Strategy update
Waste & Recycling Services are exploring a Multi-Family Recycling Strategy in accordance with the City's goal to divert 80 per cent of waste from landfills by 2020. In March 2007, Council directed Administration to proceed with next steps in a Multi-Family Recycling Strategy, including the development of a full cost of service strategy during 2012-14 and to report back to the SPC on Utilities and Corporate Services no later than February 2014.
The Multi-Family Residential Sector consists of many different types of structures, including town homes, condominiums and apartments. Most of these dwellings receive waste collection from the private sector, with some condos receiving City collection supported through the tax base.
The initial phase of strategy development was informed by a comprehensive stakeholder engagement program. Stakeholders included residents, dwelling owners, service providers, recycling markets and NGOs. The stakeholder engagement program resulted in several findings:
Differences of opinion about how to best provide service
- Need for flexible service options
- Need for adequate processing capacity was identified as a challenge
- City's role in the strategy should be to facilitate and to provide oversight and education
A summary was also compiled of municipal multi-family recycling programs across North America.
The engagement and research phases resulted in three options that are now being explored:
- Option 1: Bylaw mandating service
- All multi-family buildings/complexes are required to provide recycling services for the same materials collected in the blue cart program
- Each building/complex negotiates their own contract with a private service provide
- Option 2: City coordinated program with service provided by the private sector
- Each dwelling unit pays a mandatory monthly charge
- City contracts out service to private recycling companies
- Option 3: City coordinated program with service provided by a mix of private and public sectors
These three options were presented for discussion at two Open Houses in April as well as an online discussion forum that was held from April 15-May 5, 2013. The feedback provided through the Open Houses and discussion forum, as well as information collected through 311 and our offices, will be consolidated and evaluated.
The results of the engagement and research will be compiled into a report along with a recommended strategy for presentation to the SPC on U&CS no later than February 2014.
New 311 Calgary mobile app
Earlier this month, we launched the new 311 mobile app, which allows you to submit service requests quickly and easily from an iPhone Android
With the app, you are able to attach a photo and use your phone’s GPS function to detect the location. Currently, the mobile app contains 17 different types of service requests that can be made and more will be made available soon.
The new app gives us one more option to connect with The City. Service Requests can also be submitted online or by phoning 311. To learn how to use the new app, you can watch this video: How to Submit a Service Request.
Green roof pilot project
The roofs on the fourth and fifth floor on the east side of the Municipal Building have reached the end of their lifecycle and need to be replaced. This type of regular lifecycle maintenance provides an excellent opportunity for us to try new things and improve the footprint of our buildings.
A joint pilot project between several City departments will see this section of roof replaced with a "green roof." Green roofs (also known as eco-roofs or living roofs) utilize vegetation and sod to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and reduce rain water runoff. The pilot project will provide the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience with regard to green roofs to inform future uses by The City and by private commercial enterprise.
Back to May 2013 report
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.