A limited number of blue carts will be hitting Lethbridge streets in a few months as phase 1 of the City's curbside recycling program gets underway. This spring, approximately 900 homes will begin curbside recycling ahead of the city-wide implementation in 2019.
"By implementing the program in phases, we can test different methods of operation and education and get feedback from residents, says Joel Sanchez, General Manager of Waste and Recycling Services. "This will ensure our city-wide rollout is as successful as possible."
Phase 1 participants will receive an introduction letter to their home in the next few days followed by an information package in the coming weeks. They will also be invited to connect with the City regularly over the next year to help build a successful curbside recycling program for all of Lethbridge.
Portions of the Country Meadows, Garry Station, Fairmont, Stafford Manor and Victoria Park/Upper Eastside neighbourhoods will be included in Phase 1. These locations were chosen based on a number of factors including, geographic location, front or rear pickup, street design and the age of the neighbourhood. In addition, 20 bins will be tested with multi-family complexes as part of phase 1. View phase 1 map .
"We've been very strategic in planning out the phase 1 locations, says Sanchez. "We wanted to make sure we had a good cross-section of the community to help identify any issues we might have prior to city-wide implementation."
The City worked with private recycling companies when choosing the phase 1 locations to ensure there was the least amount of impact on their business.
In November 2016, City Council voted in favour of introducing curbside recycling. The new program will provide blue carts to each household for the bi-weekly collection of accepted recyclable material. Recycling and garbage pick-up will occur on alternating weeks, reducing garbage collection to every other week.
Council also approved the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) which will handle the recyclables collected through the curbside program. The planning and design of the MRF, which will be located at the Waste and Recycling Centre (landfill), has been completed and construction of the facility will begin shortly. It is expected to be operational in early 2019. The City will contract out the sorting and shipping of recyclables of phase 1.
The new curbside program is projected to add $7 to monthly residential utility bills. Phase 1 participants will not be charged until the new fees are added for all residents. Once the MRF is operational, the sale of the recyclable materials will help offset a portion of the overall cost of the curbside program.
The rest of the community is encouraged to continue recycling as usual until the city-wide roll out in 2019. The recycling stations will remain open for community use and for any extra recycling phase 1 participants may have.
Visit www.lethbridge.ca/wastewizard to find out what materials are recyclable in Lethbridge, and where to bring them. For more information on the curbside recycling project visit www.lethbridge.ca/CurbsideRecycling.
Joel Sanchez, General Manager of Waste and Recycling Services
City of Lethbridge