Thursday, September 20, 2012

Green Cart update: One million kilos and growing

Thanks to the participation of Green Cart pilot residents in Abbeydale, Brentwood, Cougar Ridge and Southwood food and yard waste collected continues to grow and garbage in pilot communities has been cut almost in half.

In August, the program reached a true milestone – one million kilograms of food and yard waste collected through the pilot.

And while City landfills typically see a higher spike in garbage over the summer months, Green Cart communities had a decrease in garbage to the tune of 44 per cent compared to non-pilot communities.

Waste & Recycling Services is also monitoring how every second week garbage collection is working.

“We’re finding more than 90 per cent of homes are able to dispose of all of their garbage in their black cart every two weeks without putting out extra bags,” explains Green Cart Project Manager Lindsay Lofthouse. “This is equal or better than comparable neighbourhoods that receive weekly black cart collection.”

Blue and green carts combined triple waste diversion efforts.

By designing a program that is easy and convenient to use, pilot communities are also making bigger strides when it comes to keeping valuable resources out of the landfill.

Before blue carts were rolled out, Calgarians recycled and composted about 20 per cent of their waste.  Since then waste diversion has almost tripled to 56 per cent in communities with blue and green cart service.

Since rolling out green carts more than six months ago, Waste & Recycling Services has tested the carts through two seasons and continues to collect important information from residents and collectors to help share recommendations for a city-wide program when they report back to Council in March 2013.

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