Curbside recycling to include glass

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Airdrie residents will be able to throw their glass jars and bottles into their new blue carts when curbside recycling is introduced in the city in April, according to Susan Grimm, team leader, Waste and Recycling Services.

“I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised with the list of things that will be accepted (in the carts),” she said. “The things that won’t be accepted are things like your batteries, your hazardous waste, your clothing and textiles – things that you wouldn’t normally accept in a blue cart program anyway.

“We were able to work with a provider who is going to accept glass. It’s food jar glass only – not your fish tanks, your Corelle dish wear, your mirrors, none of that. There’s a lot of contamination at the depot because people throw any glass in there.”

Grimm said the service provider for the blue cart curbside recycling has been chosen. The blue carts will be delivered to residences in Airdrie in March. According to Grimm, the list of what will and won’t be accepted in the bins will be heat stamped onto the cart lids. Pick up for the blue carts will begin April 3.

When that service starts, residents will only be allowed to leave one bag of garbage for pickup, down from the current limit of two. Tags for extra bags, if required, will still be available for purchase from the city at various locations around Airdrie.

Grimm said residents will be expected to use a clear bag for their garbage; however, this requirement will not be enforceable until January 2018.

“We recommend people, if they’re running out of black bags, not to buy more black bags,” she said. “Use the opportunity to buy the clear bags now, knowing that it’s coming in.”

Grimm said the one allowable bag of garbage per week is substantial in size, at 30 inches by 50 inches. Residents will also be allowed to include one opaque 12-inch-by-16-inch privacy bag in their clear bag.

“We’re not opening anything. We’re not putting on gloves. We’re not inspecting anything,” she said. “The goal is to look at your clear bag, pick it up (and) identify quickly if there’s anything that blatantly looks like recyclables or organics. If there is, we’re going to put a sticker on it and it’s going to stay at the curb.”

Residents will be charged approximately $8 per month for the curbside service. Waste from Airdrie is disposed of in the City of Calgary’s landfills, which has a basic sanitary rate for residential garbage and approximately 100 items on a designated materials list. Items on the designated materials list are charged at a higher disposal rate. In 2018, paper and cardboard will be added to that list, followed by organics in 2019.

The disposal fee for basic residential waste rose from $110 per tonne in 2015 to $113 per tonne in 2016. Items on the designated materials list are charged a $170 per tonne disposal fee. This increase, according to Grimm, is a main reason why the city chose to implement mandatory curbside recycling for both single- and multi-family residences.

The city will host information sessions to help residents understand the changes to waste and recycling programs Feb. 11 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Feb. 15 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the lobby at Bert Church Live Theatre.

Before curbside recycling is introduced, city council will be asked to endorse a new Waste and Recycling Bylaw, Grimm said.

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