Edmonton’s new waste sorting and cart collection program is being touted a success in its first year.
Early estimates show food scrap and yard waste collection helped divert over 30 per cent of single-unit residential waste from the landfill in 2021, according to the City of Edmonton. The city said an official diversion statistic will be released this spring.
“Edmontonians have adapted well to setting out their carts and have made significant strides in sorting their waste. These actions are helping to divert more waste from the landfill and keeping our collectors safe,” Jodi Goebel, director of waste strategy, said in a news release.
The city said 98 per cent of Edmonton residences are properly setting out their carts. The city will now shifts its efforts to helping people improve waste sorting. The city believes the contents of the average black cart could shrink by an additional 40 per cent if residents become more used to sorting food scraps, recycling and yard waste.
“The city can’t make the same positive impact on waste diversion through processing as 250,000 households can by properly sorting their waste,” said Goebel. “When residents take the time to separate their food scraps and yard waste, we can make sure it’s processed into beneficial products like electricity and compost.”
This year, the city is adjusting the yard waste collection schedule so both the spring and fall yard waste collection dates are later. Yard waste will be collected in paper yard waste bags or see-through plastic bags of any colour.
People can also top off their food scraps cart with yard waste, or drop the waste off at an Eco Station.
Goebel said the city is also asking residents to think differently about yard maintenance, particularly grass clippings.
“Grass clippings, in particular, are 80 to 85 per cent water and decompose quickly when left on the ground. ‘Going bagless,’ as we call it, also adds moisture and valuable nutrients back to your lawn. When you think about what grass clippings are made up of, it makes sense that we would want to collect less and less each year.”
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More information about the program and how to better sort waste can be found on the WasteWise app. People can also use the app to see their collection calendar. Residents are asked to use the app rather than receiving a printed collection calendar. To opt out of receiving a paper calendar, fill out a form on the city’s website before Feb. 14.
Waste collection calendars for 2022-23 will be delivered in March for those who do not opt out.
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