From July 13 to August 14, Lethbridge residents, institutions, businesses and industry groups will have a chance to share their ideas on how waste is handled in the community. The Let's Talk Trash community engagement program has been developed by the City of Lethbridge to ensure everyone has a voice in the creation of a new Waste Management Master Plan.
In a 2019 survey, 87 per cent of Lethbridge residents told us it's important to reduce the amount of food and yard waste that goes to landfills. The City looks forward to hearing how the community feels about current waste management options, ideas to improve these services, and how to best respond to the changing needs of the community.
Each year, Lethbridge produces an average of 989 kilograms of trash. This includes both residents and the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI)/Construction and Demolition (CD) sectors. While those levels are slightly under the Alberta average of 1,034 kilograms/year, they are well above the Canadian average of 710 kilograms/year.
Waste comes in many forms – from garden and food waste to paper products, industrial waste, product packaging, electronics and even furniture. While some of this waste can be recycled or composted, 85 per cent of Lethbridge's current waste is going to landfills. Landfills are expensive to maintain, and often come with long-term negative impacts to the environment.
Currently, the City of Lethbridge is providing garbage collection and curbside recycling through the blue and black cart programs. Additional waste management services include large item service, yard waste collection sites and various services provided at the City's Waste and Recycling Centre.
The City of Lethbridge is inviting the community to share their ideas about how to better manage waste, finding approaches that make the most of limited dollars and which protect the land and natural areas. Public input will help shape the new Waste Management Master Plan, which will provide sustainable options for the community and help achieve Council's strategic priorities around environmental protection.
The Waste Management Master Plan is one of several steps the City of Lethbridge is taking to achieve its sustainability goals and support a circular economy. A circular economy focuses on making the most of all resources, eliminating waste and finding reuse options whenever possible.
To respect the current physical distancing requirements, community engagement for the Waste Management Master Plan will be focused online. In addition to the online survey now available, key stakeholders will also be invited to a series of focus groups that will take place later this summer.
To participate or learn more, please visit the project Get Involved Lethbridge website at https://getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/waste-management-master-plan there you can:
- Complete the survey
- Reserve a spot at virtual workshops
- Get updates on the virtual open house opportunities
The initial phase of engagement for Let's Talk Trash will run until August 14, 2020. A second phase of engagement will take place later this fall and the final Waste Management Master Plan will be released in December 2020. It will guide waste prevention and reduction and recycling efforts in Lethbridge for the next 15 to 20 years.
Nichole Robinson, Waste and Recycling Services
City of Lethbridge