The city of Edmonton is considering changing the way we are charged for waste collection. They would like to encourage residents to put out less waste, and have come up with 5 scenarios to pay for waste collection, including offering a reduced collection fee for those households that put out only 1 container of waste and 1 container of recycling.
Voice your opinion here:
I majored in Ecology in University and have some understanding of how to encourage people to waste less. When I lived in Guelph, the wet/dry program was rolled out and it was simple and easy to follow - wet stuff went in one bag, dry in another. The wet stuff went to a compost facility and the dry stuff was sorted and recycled or sent to landfill. If you didn't follow the rules they didn't collect your garbage, and if you didn't clean it up by 7pm you were fined. It was simple and it worked (it has been tweaked a bit since then but the concept is the same).
When I lived in Dundas (part of Hamilton, Ontario) they launched the green bin program. Anything compostable goes in the green bin, recyclables in the recycling bin and garbage in a bag. A little more complicated but it still works quite well. Twice a year residents can go pick up free bags of compost for their gardens. The amount of stuff going to the landfill was considerably reduced. If you follow the rules and only put out one bag of garbage each week you are rewarded with a gold coloured recycle bin to show off to the neighbours each week when you put out your trash.
Then there is the system in Sherwood Park - you have to sort your waste into four containers for collection. The categories are confusing and the streets are difficult to navigate on waste collection days because there are so many containers out front of each home. It's way too complicated.
The key to making these programs work is to keep them simple, make sure there is enough of an incentive to reduce your waste, and make sure the system is easy to police.
In Edmonton we currently have no restrictions on the amount of waste we put out for collection and there is still a major issue with littering in the city (otherwise we wouldn't have to have "Capital City Clean Up" every year). Waste collection restrictions will only make littering worse if the issue is not dealt with first. When the garbage cans on the green belt behind our home get full, people just dump their garbage near the can and it ends up all over the green belt. I don't understand why people choose to turn their own neighbourhoods into garbage dumps.
Anyway, whatever your opinion is on the subject, be sure to take the survey and have your say.
There are also open houses scheduled for residents to discuss the issues and learn more about the programs:
- Tue, April 10, 2012 3–7pm Ukrainian Youth Centre, Hall B 9615 153 Avenue
- Wed, April 11, 2012 3–7pm Central Lions Senior Centre, Large Auditorium 11113 113 Street
- Thur, April 12, 2012 3–7pm MacEwan University South Campus, Classroom #1 7319 29 Avenue
- Mon, April 16, 2012 3–7pm Fantasyland Hotel, Conference room 7 17700 87 Avenue
Or you can contact the city directly:
In Edmonton: 311, Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311, firstname.lastname@example.org