Light Blue

Windy Day Recycling

Lethbridge is a windy city. How does that impact curbside recycling? 

​What we've experienced

One of the major concerns we've heard from residents is that the stubborn southern Alberta wind blows their blue cart around. Curbside recycling does pose different challenges than garbage collection because the items are light and need to be loose in the cart rather than bagged. On a windy day, this could mean a tipped cart becomes litter. 

We understand this is a challenge in our community, particularly during the more wind prone times of the year. Our blue carts do meet industry standards which tests them to a wind tolerance of 60 km/hr - just another day in Lethbridge, right? Unfortunately, not many other municipalities experience wind like us and those that do also struggle for a good solution.

We have noticed, on extremely windy days, the cart set-out rate has been lower than normal. We speculate those who didn't have a full bin, chose to keep it in until the next pick-up and avoid the possibility of it blowing over. This is a great option, when possible.

Windy day Recycling Tips

  • Make sure the lid is closed. 
    An open lid will catch the wind and tip the cart more easily. It also means any loose material on the top of your cart could fly out. 
  • Don't over fill your cart.  
    Remember to break down your cardboard into smaller pieces so it fits inside your closed bin. A propped up lid will again catch the wind and more easily tip. 
  • Put lighter items at the bottom and heavier items on top - prevent the lighter items from blowing out by putting them on the bottom of your cart. 
  • Angle the wheels into the curb at 45 degrees. 
    Think back to your driver training days when you learned to park up hill. If you angle your blue cart at 45 degrees to the curb, if the wind does catch it, there is more chance the wheels will roll into the curb and stop it from blowing away. This slight angle doesn't cause any difficulty for the trucks collecting your cart. 
  • If you can, keep your blue cart in on extremely windy days. 
    A half full cart is lighter and could tip more easily. It also means, you likely have enough space to continue collecting your recycling until the next pickup date. If your cart is not full, it might be safest to wait until your next pick up date. 
  • Report problems by calling 311. 
    We want to track areas that might be more susceptible to wind gusts and can send clean up crews if a large recycling litter event occurs. 
  • Put your cart out the morning of pickup rather than the night before and roll it back in as soon as possible.
    Leaving your cart on the street or in the alley for long periods of time will mean more chance of it getting knocked or blown over.
  • Put your address on your cart.

    Each cart has a serial number and a RFID (radio waves transmit data) tag to identify that it belongs to your house. To make sure you keep your cart at your house, you can write your address on the white space provided on the cart. This will help with any windy day mix ups with your neighbours. 

Thanks for doing your part to help make our program a success. 

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