City ‘peels’ open Organics Processing Facility
The future home of your week-old leftovers, food scraps and spring yard waste was celebrated today as the City of Lethbridge unveiled the Organics Processing Facility.
The award-winning facility, located at the City's Waste & Recycling Centre, will receive and process all green cart materials collected from both the residential and commercial programs.
“It’s an exciting day for the City and our community,” says Mayor, Blaine Hyggen. “The opening of the Organics Processing Facility is a step forward in positioning our city to be more sustainable. It will help us reach our target of diverting 65 per cent of residential waste from the landfill by 2030. Most importantly, it creates environmental benefits for Lethbridge now and into the future.”
The curbside organics project, including the construction of the facility, cost $10,629,000 with funding support from both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta. The Government of Canada provided $5,879,000 from the Canada Community-Building Fund for the construction of the facility. The Government of Alberta provided $4,750,000 from the Municipal Sustainability Initiative to support the curbside organics program.
“We’re incredibly grateful to our government partners for their support in the completion of this project,” says Mayor Hyggen. “They’ve helped our community set out on a path of excellent environmental stewardship for generations to come.”
When organic material arrives at the facility, it's shredded, mixed and sits in a series of open-air bunkers. It takes approximately 44 days to turn your household organics into high-quality compost. Once processed and ready for use, residents will have opportunities to collect compost for their own gardens.
“We expect to generate more than 13,000 tonnes of compost per year based on expected levels of organic materials processed,” says Mandi Parker, General Manager of Waste & Environment. “Residents will be able to collect free compost at three upcoming events in June and we look forward to finalizing the details of the compost program in the coming weeks.”
City compost will also be used in City parks and gardens and sold to agricultural partners for commercial use.
The Waste & Recycling Centre’s overall transformation to include organic material processing was recently recognized at a provincial level. The project and the City’s project consultant, Tetra Tech, were awarded the Consulting Engineers of Alberta's Environmental Award of Excellence and Sustainable Design Award of Excellence.
“This project has been many years in the making and one we’re excited to finally unveil to the residents of Lethbridge,” says Joel Sanchez, Director of Infrastructure Services. “We look forward to being able to divert much more waste from the landfill and reaching our waste diversion targets to continue to advance the sustainability of our community for years to come.”
The first city-wide collection of green carts starts next week on Tuesday, May 16. Green carts are collected on a different day from blue and black carts. Green carts will be collected weekly until October with bi-weekly collection from November to April. Residents can confirm their collection day here.
Want reminders about which cart goes out when? Download the free smartphone app, Lethbridge Loop. The green cart collection schedule will be updated on the app on Friday, May 12. Along with curbside pick-up dates, the Loop can notify residents about planned City services like neighbourhood street sweeping, planned electric outages and snow route notifications.
Residents who live in apartments and condominiums with communal collection can expect their green carts to start arriving this fall.
For Public Inquiries:
Call 311 | Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.