City to test composting program
After receiving a green light from City Hall on Friday, an organic waste pilot is set to begin in April.
“People have been calling our offices saying, ‘How can I be a part of this program?’” Mark Stumpf-Allen, city program coordinator, told CTV News.
“The desire is out there.”
The homes that are chosen for the pilot program will each receive a large green cart for kitchen scraps, which will be collected by the city every week in the summer and biweekly in the winter.
Stumpf-Allen said he anticipated it to be a “really easy switch.”
However, Ward 8 Councillor Ben Henderson said it is time for Edmonton “to catch up” to waste management standards.
“We went from being in the forefront to falling behind on something that I think has become common practice in not just around the country, but I think in the region,” he said.
The city’s system has been affected by several inefficiencies.
Currently, Edmonton garbage goes to a waste management centre to be sorted, but the centre doesn’t create a totally clean compost product.
“It made the compost harder to market than it should have,” Henderson said.
Additionally, the facility has been forced to shut down in the winter because of roof problems.
Council is in the planning stages of replacing it with a $214-million facility, which it believes could be needed when the pilot composting program is expanded throughout the city.
“It makes sense over the long term to spend more money to put the extra capital costs out now because the operating costs will be significantly less,” Henderson said.
In the meantime, Edmontonians have been encouraged to start composting food waste on their own or by finding a composter in their neighbourhood.
Participants of the 8,000-home pilot program are expected to be notified in the coming weeks when the city decides which neighbourhoods will take part.
With files from Regan Hasegawa