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City celebrates Earth Day by thanking community for one year of curbside organics

The City of Lethbridge is thanking residents for embracing green carts as the residential program approaches the one-year mark.

“What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by sharing some positive statistics about our curbside organics program,” says James Nicholls, Collections Manager, Waste & Environment department. “We've had residential curbside organics collection for almost one year now and the data is really encouraging. We want to thank residents and the community for going green and embracing the program with such great curbside enthusiasm.”

The Green Stats

  • Almost six million kgs of organic waste has been diverted from the landfill thanks to curbside green carts.
  • This averages out to approximately 175 kgs of organic waste, per household.
  • The City has given more than 56,000 kgs of free compost away to residents at five giveaway events over the past year.
  • Less than one per cent of residents refused delivery of the green cart. Of those who initially refused, approximately 17 per cent changed their mind and later requested one.

These promising results aid in contributing to the work being done to meet the City’s waste diversion targets. Set in 2018, City Council created a waste diversion target that aims to divert 50 per cent of the waste generated in Lethbridge by 2030.

“We know change can be hard to adapt to, especially when it comes to household routines,” says Nicholls. “However, the results we’re seeing show residents support this change, which ultimately benefits our community for years to come.”

Weekly collection to start week of April 30

As the weather starts to warm up, Nicholls says his team is getting ready for the move to the weekly collection of green carts.

“Residents who have green carts can expect to see their cart collected every week starting the week of April 30,” says Nicholls. “Collecting every week during the warmer months allows us to help divert all the yard waste we see as people start their gardening for the year. It also helps to keep the odour or ‘yuck’ factor down in the carts. Your green cart is never going to smell like a bouquet of flowers but by collecting weekly, it helps to minimize the smell where we can.”


Get free collection day reminders

Residents who want free collection reminders are encouraged to download the Lethbridge Loop app to their smartphones. The app is free to download for both Apple and Android devices and offers residents the opportunity to receive alerts about planned services that may affect their home and neighbourhood. The app will send a reminder directly to your phone indicating which cart needs to be set out on collection day. The app can also advise when street sweeping is scheduled, snow routes are activated, planned power outages are scheduled in addition to other planned City service reminders like watermain upgrades.

Room for improvement

“We’re really pleased with how the program has been adopted by the community so far but there’s always opportunities to do better,” says Mandi Parker, General Manager, Waste & Environment department. “Our focus is now on finding ways to encourage residents to divert more food scraps into their carts so we can increase our diversion rates from the landfill.”

“If you’re worried about the mess and ‘yuck’ factor in your kitchen pail, paper bags can be used to help seal up the mess. There are some available for free at Community Conversation for people to try out,” says Parker. “We’ve seen lots of creative ways households have incorporated curbside organics into their routine. Some families have a full-sized organics garbage bin right next to their regular garbage bin in their kitchens. They’re using the big paper yard waste bags to line these indoor organics bins instead of using the small kitchen pail. Ultimately, finding something that works for you is what is going to increase food scraps in the green carts and reduce the amount of waste going to our landfill.”

Organics Collection is currently being rolled out to residents who live in apartments and condominiums. Residents who are included in this phase are encouraged to reach out to their property managers to learn when they’ll receive their opportunity to dispose of their household organics.

Community Conversation

The Waste & Environment team will be at the upcoming Community Conversation event at the ENMAX Centre on Thursday, April 25 from 3 – 7 p.m. Residents are encouraged to attend the free community event and stop by the Waste & Environment booth with their curbside organics questions. The team will have free swag items, including the green cart-approved paper bags for residents to try out at home.

For Public Inquiries:
Call 311 |  Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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