‘Long overdue’: Edmonton plans to roll out green bins

Edmonton is getting ready to roll out the green bins.

The city is planning to introduce a new green bin and yard waste program, which would see organics get collected separately from household garbage.

The green bins will be set on the curbside of 5,600 households who voluntarily participate in the pilot beginning next spring.

If the program goes ahead, every single unit home in the city will be asked to put their food scraps and other organics into a green bin by 2020. Yard waste will only be picked up seasonally, in the spring and fall, with the option to bring it to an Eco Station year-round.

The details of the program are contained in reports headed to the Utility Committee on Aug. 23.

“This program is long overdue,” said vice-chair Michael Walters.

Last year more than 60 per cent of the city’s waste ended up in a landfill, according to the reports.

The city is eventually hoping to get that number down to 10 per cent.

“As most people are aware we had a fairly significant view of ourselves as waste management leaders in Edmonton and the truth is that without this kind of . . . project we never were going to be what we hoped we would be,” Walters said.

As it is, residents don’t have to separate organics from their garbage. Instead, they’re collected together and sorted at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre in Clover Bar. 

Organics end up getting mixed in with plastics, glass and other contaminants. The kitchen scraps that would otherwise be quality compost end up in landfills. 

“If you mix everything together and then try to take it apart at the other end, you’re never going to end up with a good product,” said Christina Steidel, executive director of the Recycling Council of Alberta.

Compost facility issues

The city compost facility collected 135,000 tonnes of waste in 2016 — less than half of which was turned into compost.

“We need to be diverting all of the organics we possibly can from the waste stream because that’s a very valuable material,” Steidel said.  

The compost facility at the centre is closed in the winter because its rotting roof can’t support the weight of the snow. The city expects the facility will either need serious repairs or simply close in 2019, nearly 10 years ahead of its life expectancy.

A new oxygenless compost facility is expected to be running at the centre by the fall, but it can only handle a third of the capacity of the current composter.

Of 135,000 tonnes sent to the city’s composting facility in 2016, only 63,000 was processed into suitable compost. (City of Edmonton)

Separating yard waste will help because it can decompose in less costly windrows rather than the composter, said Coun. Ben Henderson who sits on the committee. About 50,000 tonnes of yard waste is processed at the centre every year.

“With a small effort to keep our organic waste separate we can come up with a much better system and a much cheaper system and a much more effective system for diverting the waste once we get it,” he said.

The changes to the yard waste program are expected to save $4.6 million, mostly by cutting back the costs of operating the composter.

As part of the proposed plan, the city could also cut back on garbage pickup from once a week to once every two weeks. 

The cost of implementing the program could range between $26 million and $47 million depending on whether the city chooses to collect garbage in bags or new carts, as some other municipalities have done.  

The city will not be handing out green bins to multi-unit buildings, but is hoping to increase participation in compost and recycling program, according to the report.

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

Originally posted 2018-08-18 00:37:28. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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