The City of Edmonton is putting the old garbage collection system in the trash. Council has voted to switch to a new bin system with a goal of diverting 90 per cent of single-use residential waste from the landfill.

The current system allows for unlimited comingling of organic waste and garbage as well as recycling at the curbside. The materials are processed at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, and a portion is diverted from the landfill.

A city report shows that waste diversion from the landfill has dropped from 52 per cent in 2016 to 36 per cent in 2018, partially due to challenges at the waste management facility.

City of Edmonton recomended garbage set-out

The new model will see residents receive the following:

  • a new 240L black cart for garbage to be collected bi-weekly year round
  • a 120L green cart for organics to be collected weekly in the summer, and bi-weekly in winter. Residents will also be able to top up their green cart with yard waste, including leaves and grass clippings.
  • unlimited weekly collection of recycling in blue bags
  • two collections of yard waste in the spring and two in the fall

Six months into the changeover, residents who dispose of less garbage will be given the option to swap out the 240-litre black garbage cart for a 120-litre one.

An excess waste program will also be implemented that will allow residents to purchase special branded clear bags for excess garbage (not recycling or organic material).

The new program is expected to cost $51.5 million between 2020 and 2022.

The change will also see the city get out of the commercial waste business. Companies, warehouses and institutions will have to find another way to have their garbage collected.