With extra time at home, many residents may be starting to spring clean but the City warns that reduced services and closures due to COVID-19 could make managing extra waste and recycling a challenge.
Lethbridge's residential curbside waste and recycling programs are being maintained as essential City services, but other programs and services have been impacted. Individuals should consider what options are available for managing or storing extra waste and recycling while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.
Waste and Recycling Centre (landfill) Operational Changes
The Waste and Recycling Centre has seen an increase in activity over the last two weeks. In order to adhere to the Government of Alberta's mass gathering restrictions and protect staff and residents, the City has temporarily suspended the free Saturday drop-off program and closed the Waste and Recycling Centre on Saturdays. The site will be accepting essential loads Mon-Fri maintaining the winter hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. rather than moving to the extended summer hours April 1, as is normal practice.
Residents are reminded to only make essential visits at this time. Avoid unnecessary trips by making use of curbside collection services and, if possible, store excess materials until it is safer to visit the Waste and Recycling Centre. To protect the public and staff the public is reminded that this is not an appropriate time to visit the Waste and Recycling Centre to dispose of home renovation materials or spring cleaning items.
Until further notice, please avoid bringing the following types of materials to the Waste & Recycling Centre:
- construction or renovation waste
- tires, batteries, oil, paint, propane tanks and other household hazardous waste
- electronics and small appliances
- scrap metal and large appliances
- mattresses & furniture
If you experience an extenuating circumstance and require immediate disposal for any items listed above or have excess black cart material that can't be managed at the curb, please contact 311 to discuss your options.
If you must come to the Waste and Recycling Centre, please practice appropriate physical distancing by leaving at least 2 meters between yourself and others. Only cashless transactions will be accepted at this time.
Large Item Service Modifications
The City's Large Item Service (LIS) is still available to residents but pick-ups of large Freon/metal items like refrigerators and freezer has been suspended. These items require additional resources and multiple staff to manage, making physical distancing difficult and limiting capacity for other pick-ups. Each utility account holder has two LIS pick-ups/year which can be scheduled by calling Lethbridge 311. For more information on this service visit www.lethbridge.ca/lis.
Yard Waste Site Opening Delayed
The opening of the City's seasonal Yard Waste Sites has been delayed until May 1 - and possibly longer - to limit contact between staff and the public and to promote physical distancing. Residents are encouraged to try grass-cycling, backyard composting or storing their materials until sites re-open when it is safe.
Many community resources have also been impacted by COVID-19. Environment Lethbridge's Reuse Rendezvous, a popular bi-annual free-cycling event has been canceled to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The next event will be scheduled for the fall of 2020. In addition, many of the thrift stores that accept donations for used items are currently closed, limiting the opportunities to reuse material and save it from the landfill.
Communities across North America have seen an increase in Illegal dumping because of similar COVID-19 challenges. Residents are reminded that leaving materials at thrift stores, overflowing donation drop-off bins, leaving items in your alley or placing unaccepted material at the City's recycling stations is detrimental to the health and safety of the community. These actions will further burden the resources needed to manage the local pandemic response.
For more information on the City of Lethbridge's Waste and Recycling Services call Lethbridge 311 or visit www.lethbridge.ca/wrs.
For Public Inquiries:
Call 311 | Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Joel Sanchez, General Manager, Waste and Recycling Service
City of Lethbridge