Update as of September 2012:
Since rolling out green carts more than six months ago, Waste and Recycling have tested the carts through two seasons and continue to collect important information from residents and their collectors to help shape their recommendations for a city-wide program. Here are some program highlights from the summer.
One million kilograms collected and growing
In August we reached a true milestone – one million kilograms of compostable material collected through the green cart pilot.
We also conducted a study and found that 99 per cent of the material we receive is acceptable. This is great news because it means that residents have a good understanding of how to use the program and we are able to produce high quality compost.
Garbage amounts continue to fall
Our landfills typically see a higher spike in garbage over the summer, but in our green cart communities we saw a decrease in garbage and increased green cart participation with an abundance of grass clippings and other yard waste filling the green carts.
By keeping these compostable materials out of the garbage, pilot residents were able to reduce their garbage by 44 per cent compared to non-pilot communities.
Green cart residents adapt well to bi-weekly garbage collection
Across the four pilot communities, more than 90 per cent of homes can dispose of all their garbage in their black cart every two weeks without putting out extra bags. These results are equal or better than comparable neighbourhoods that receive weekly black cart collection.
Blue and green carts combined triple waste diversion efforts
By designing residential programs that are easy and convenient to use, pilot community residents are making bigger strides in diverting their waste from the landfill.
In fact, before blue carts were rolled out, Calgarians were recycling and composting about 20 per cent of their waste. Since then waste diversion has almost tripled to 56 per cent in communities with blue and green cart service.
Update as of August 2012:
Early March 2012 saw the start of the Green Cart Pilot project and it has already been declared a success! In the first 12 weeks of the project Waste and Recycling Services collected 440,605 kg of food and yard waste, which is enough to fill 17,000 bags of compost. The pilot communities have reduced their amount of garbage by 40% compared to communities that don’t have green cart collection.
The green cart pilot demonstrates how easy it is for Calgarians to reduce the amount of garbage that we send to our landfills. Table scraps, yard waste, weeds, meat and fish, dryer lint, paper towel and tissues, kitty litter and pet waste are among the long list of items that can be composted.
Update as of March 2012:
During the first week of March, The City began collecting compostable waste in Abbydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood. I'm pleased to report that we're off to an impressive start with the green cart program. Collecting food and yard waste is completely new for most Calgarians, so it's encouraging to see so many residents making the effort to keep organics out of our landfills.
Like any new program that requires a change to our regular routine
, it will take time to adapt. We have a great group of people handling collections in the pilot communities and they are taking extra time with the residents to make participating as easy as possible
Green cart pilot project
The City of Calgary is one step closer to meeting its goal of 80% waste diversion by 2020 with the adoption of a residential food and yard waste pilot. Organics make up almost 60% of our residential waste. Public support for this important next step is high, with 83% of Calgarians surveyed supporting a curbside organics program.
Waste and Recycling Services is recommending a food and yard composting pilot starting in 2012 March. The pilot will be funded with the savings from operational efficiencies related to the Black Cart automation. The pilot will help us gauge citizen satisfaction and participation, understand collection volumes and frequency, and refine operational costs. Based on a successful pilot, the program could be expanded city-wide from 2015-2017, allowing for the design and construction of a composting facility for a large amount of organics.
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.