Early signs of success for organics program
25 per cent decrease in waste for May
Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 11:03 am
The City’s curbside organics pick-up program, which officially began in April has recorded a 25 per cent decrease in waste for the month of May, over the same time period last year.
The results are encouraging, according to Waste and Recycling Services Manager Kathleen Muretti.
The program’s implementation was met with some concerns from residents, including costs associated with pick up and storage of the green carts, but through a series of three open houses held between Feb. 27 and April 9, most of Airdrie’s 14,000 homes that were given green bins are now taking part.
“As of right now, there are only 109 homes that aren’t taking part in the program that we know of,” said Muretti.
“It’s been a combination of education and residents buying into the program. I really have to give credit to our residents for being open to getting educated on this and we’ve had great feedback so far.”
In May 2013, the average amount of waste collected per household was 0.059 metric tons (MT) and this year that number dropped to 0.044 MT.
This year in the month of May, 496 MT of organic waste was recycled rather than sent to a landfill.
“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to those citizens who have taken the time to learn how to recycle their organics and participated in the program,” said Mayor Peter Brown.
“The stats are showing that this program is working and it’s our citizens who have made it such a great success.”
The 496 MT of organic waste collected translates to a savings of more than $28,000 in disposal costs.
These savings were anticipated by Waste and Recycling Services and were included as a credit in residents’ 2014 garbage disposal fee.
Muretti said the number of green carts being picked up is increasing from week to week as more residents jump on board with the program. Muretti anticipates even higher diversion rates over the summer months.
“The garbage haul over the summer is significantly more with people putting out yard waste,” said Muretti.
“Now that you can recycle yard waste in the green bin there’s no reason that it shouldn’t be diverted. We’re very excited about the success we’ve had so far but there’s still a lot of work to be done and we’ll continue to educate our residents on this program.”
According to the City, the average household has had seven green bin pickups already this year.