Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Get in the “green zone” with the food trucks over lunch

Every Thursday in September, two food truck vendors will set up shop between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in a “green zone” in front of The City’s Administration Building (Old City Hall). The lunch-time event will help share the importance of recycling composting and diverting waste from the landfill.   
“It’s a great chance to learn what can go in a green cart versus what can go in a blue cart and what is considered garbage. I think people will be really surprised by how little trash we have at the end of the lunch,” says Darcy Cairns, superintendent of programs for Waste & Recycling Services.

An inconvenient truth about food waste

The City has found that by adding green carts in addition to blue carts to special events, we are able to divert as much as 80% of the waste from the landfill.

“People assume that food and yard waste in the landfill just turns into dirt. In fact, it creates greenhouse gasses like methane and liquid leachate that have to be collected and treated,” says Cairns. 

“To prevent that material sitting in the landfill, we can turn it into valuable compost that can be used on farmer’s fields, in community gardens, and in flower beds.”

Keep on trucking -- and being green

The lunchtime events will also act as an incentive to recognize food truck operators for their creative, green initiatives that reduce environmental impact.

On Thursday, Sept. 4, the Naaco Truck and Cheezy Bizness will kick things off. Join our Facebook event for updates.

“The objective is to recognize the efforts of those vendors reducing the environmental impacts of their businesses and encourage other vendors to follow these practices,” says Chief Licence Inspector Kent Pallister.

LEAF-ing the earth a better place

The event is a collaboration between The City of Calgary and the Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF)While only three of the 48 food truck operators in Calgary are LEAF-certified, many others do meet green criteria, adds Pallister.

“This could include everything from buying local, to using recyclable materials for take-out containers and marketing materials, to having reusable soap pumps and coffee filters,” he says .

The City is working to achieve the Council-approved goal of diverting 80% of waste from landfills by the year 2020 and supports imagineCalgary’s goal to diverting 85% of waste from landfill by 2036

Submitted by Carissa Vescio, Animal & Bylaw Services






6 comments:

  1. Any possibility of adding compost bins to the public recycling bin sites? We live in an apartment, so we take our recycling to the public bins. It would be great to be able to recycle compostable material, especially fruit and vegetable leavings to recycling.

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    1. While we don’t have plans to introduce public compost bins, the good news is that apartment composting is beginning to take off.

      This fall, Council will be asked to approve a bylaw amendment (http://www.calgary.ca/UEP/WRS/Pages/Recycling-information/Residential-services/The-3rs-reduce-reuse-recycle/Apartment-Condo-Recycling.aspx) that will make it mandatory for apartments, townhouses and other multi-family complexes to provide on-site recycling for things like paper, plastic and glass (the same things are accepted at the community recycling depots now). Many companies that provide recycling pick up to multi-family complexes also provide compost pick up. If the bylaw passes, this may be something to ask your building manager about.

      There are also many ways to do your own indoor composting. Organizations like Green Calgary (http://www.greencalgary.org/your-home-and-community/healthy-homes-calgary-resources/yard-garden/) can help provide the information and resources to get you started.

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  2. So doe this mean that the people who can prove that we have been using our COMPOST BINS that were either purchased through PARKS AND REC or another STORE can opt out of having The City of Calgary FORCE us to HAVE another BIN the WE DO NOT NEED? Since we were FORCED to have the other TWO BINS and now have to pay for Waste Management on our Enmax Bills when I was always of the option that this was suppose to be included in our PROPERTY TAXES. Please reply by a COMMENT so that other TAX PAYERS will have an answer also. Thank you.

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  3. So doe this mean that the people who can prove that we have been using our COMPOST BINS that were either purchased through PARKS AND REC or another STORE can opt out of having The City of Calgary FORCE us to HAVE another BIN the WE DO NOT NEED? Since we were FORCED to have the other TWO BINS and now have to pay for Waste Management on our Enmax Bills when I was always of the option that this was suppose to be included in our PROPERTY TAXES. Please reply by a COMMENT so that other TAX PAYERS will have an answer also. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. It’s great that you have been using a backyard composter, and we hope you keep it up. The green cart can be used along with your backyard composter because it accepts a wider range of food and yard waste, including things like meat, bones, fish, dairy products, bread, pasta, branches and weeds.

      As you point out, we have provided backyard composters at a subsidized cost for many years. However, we still find that only 30 per cent of Calgarians are composting at home, and almost 60 per cent of residential garbage going to the landfills is food and yard waste. By providing green carts, we hope to encourage more people to keep food and yard waste out of the landfill by making composting an easier and more convenient option.

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  4. This is fantastic, and I can't wait for the green cart program to be launched city wide! Many other large cities in North America have had city-wide composting for years; it's great to see Calgary getting on board.

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