Council passes Waste Management Strategy
Airdrie City council endorsed a Five-Year Waste Management Strategy, which will see a city-wide organics collection program rolled out by 2014.
The City will start with a cart-based residential pilot organics collection program scheduled to run from May to October 2013. The pilot will include 178 homes in the Canals and 174 residences in Waterstone.
“I am excited about the opportunity,” said Kathleen Muretti, of the City’s waste and recycling department.
“Organics has been my focus from the get-go. We are endorsed, we can go now.”
According to Muretti, 50 to 60 per cent of the average Airdrie household’s garbage is organic material, which can be composted.
When the city-wide program rolls out, residents will initially pay a fee of around $6 for pick up and carts.
However, that cost will be offset, likely within a year of the program’s start, by a decrease in waste collection fees made possible by an expected drop in the volume of garbage generated.
The City of Airdrie currently disposes of its garbage in a Calgary landfill at a cost of $98 per metric ton, up from $65 in the last four years. Organics can be processed for $45 per metric ton.
“That’s a 40 per cent savings on 50 to 60 per cent of your garbage including both food and yard waste,” said Muretti, adding the organics program will be year round.
According to the staff report, about 80 per cent of material currently sent to municipal landfills can be recovered.
The City of Airdrie is seeking to divert 50 per cent of its waste, currently 21 per cent is kept out of landfills.
Airdronians currently throw away 300 kilograms of waste per person per year, a number the City is committed to decreasing, according to the staff report.
The five-year plan includes a number of initiatives to reach these goals.
This year, the City will repair an existing compost pad, pursue an opportunity for a private organic treatment facility in Airdrie, construct an improved household hazardous waste collection site for the East Side Depot and educate residents included in the organics pilot program.
In 2013, staff will complete a needs assessment for future recycling infrastructure.
By 2016, the city is hoping to introduce a new waste bylaw, reduce bags limit to one per week or move to a pay-as-you-throw program.
By 2017, Airdrie could potentially move to bi-weekly residential garbage collection.