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Numbers for organics waste pick-up don't add up


  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 19, 2014 10:23 am

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Re: “City says organic program showing early signs of success,” June 12

Dear Editor,

I’m all in favour of this program but has anyone done the math? I have and it doesn’t add up. I assume the figures in the article came from the City?

The article reports: “most of Airdrie’s 14,000 homes that were given green bins are now taking part” and “there are only 109 homes that aren’t taking part,” so that makes 13,891 homes participating.

In May 2013, the waste collected per household was 0.059 MT and in May 2014 0.044 MT. That suggests an average savings of 0.015 MT of organic waste per household in May 2014.

So, 13,891 houses X 0.015 MT in May 2014 = 208 MT of organic waste this May. The article reports in May 2014 that 496 MT of organic waste was recycled, which is more than twice that supported by the above figures.

Further, per the article the 496 MT translates into more than $28,000 in savings. Did we actually have 208 MT collected but paid for 496?

Are the savings really only half of that reported?

It seems like the City of Airdrie didn’t check their figures before releasing them, which is not a great way to garner support from the reading public.

“Muretti said the number of green carts being picked up is increasing from week to week.” How can that be if there are only 109 homes currently not participating?

O. Taylor,


Editor’s Note: According to Tracey Chala team leader, Waste & Recycling Services, in May 2013, the City collected 836MT (0.059MT per household) of curbside waste from our residents. In May 2014, the City collected 643MT (0.044MT per household) of waste and 496MT (0.033MT per household) of curbside organics from our residents, for a total of 1139MT. The drop in waste cannot be completely attributed to the organics program as there are many other variables to be considered. Chala said the savings are calculated based on the fact that in 2013, it cost $107/MT to haul the waste and in 2014 it costs only $50/MT to haul organics. Chala also states the number of pickups is increasing because as grass season approached and as acceptance of the program grew, more residents put their green carts out for collection.

In addition, residents may have been unaware of the start date for collection, or they might have waited until their cart was full before they set it out.

There are new homes being completed every day and this is another way that the program is growing.


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