Composting program waiting for green light
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2013 6:42AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:42AM MST
A council committee will be hearing on Wednesday about whether or not they should move on to the next step in Calgary’s green cart program which would mean big plans in the southeast.
Plans are in the works to build a $50M composting plant in southeast Calgary and bring the green cart program to every home in the city by as early as 2016.
The pilot project has been running in four communities – Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge, and Southwood - since spring of last year.
"Food and yard materials make up the two largest sources of our household waste - nearly 60 per cent," said Program Development Leader Paula Magdich in March 2012. "Like recycling, composting is the right thing to do. We can cut our garbage by more than half by simply using the green cart."
Since crews began picking up the bins on a weekly basis, the City of Calgary website says that the amount of regular garbage collected in the pilot communities had dropped by 42 percent.
They’ve also collected about 1.8M kilograms of food and yard waste that would otherwise have gone to the landfill.
The pilot project costs approximately $1M and there are no additional costs to the pilot participants.
The city says once they’ve compiled all the results from the project, it will help determine the cost of the whole program once it goes city wide.
The city says the green carts will accept a wider range of food and yard waste than backyard composters.
Residents can dispose of many items that cannot be composted at home, such as meat, bones, breads, dairy products, fish, cooked foods and paper plates.
Currently, the city says that materials collected in the bins are turned into compost at a commercial facility in Strathmore.
The compost can be used in farms, parks, and gardens.