The Curbside Organics Program will begin for all houses and semi-detached houses within Lethbridge in May 2023. Residents living in apartments and condominiums will begin their organic curbside collection in Fall 2023. Like many other municipalities, in order to plan and operate the program efficiently, it needs to be universally implemented across the entire community. Therefore there is no option to opt out of the Curbside Organics Program.
Residential curbside organics collection will include a weekly collection of green carts during the summer (May – October) and a bi-weekly collection of green carts during the winter (November – April). This seasonal approach considers the seasonal variation of yard waste material and addresses the potential odour and “yuck factor” issues that others have observed during the warm season.
Garbage and recycling collection will remain on an alternating bi-weekly schedule throughout the year.
All materials will be received at the Waste & Recycling Centre and processing will occur at the compost facility. Design and construction of the compost facility is underway and will be operational in the spring of 2023.
PHASE 1 OF CURBSIDE ORGANICS
Approximately 1,900 households across the city received green carts starting on April 27, 2022 as part of Phase 1 of the Curbside Organics program. Those areas included in Phase 1 are spread across three areas on both the north and west sides of the city:
- Areas of Varsity Village
- Areas of Legacy Ridge
- Areas of Hardieville
Households included in Phase 1 will not be charged for their organics collection until the program is rolled out city-wide in May 2023. Each household received a 240 litre green cart and 8 litre kitchen catcher pail with an Ins and Outs brochure and user guide about the program.
Phase 1 paricipants were surveyed in Fall 2022 to provide their feedback on the program. The What We Heard is available here
DOLLARS AND CENTS
Once organics collection begins in 2023, residential customers in a single family home will see a $5/month charge and customers in a multi-family residence (apartment/condo) will see a $4/month charge on their utility bill to cover a portion of the organics program expenses.
This charge will cover part of the following costs:
- Compost facility operations (maintenance, utilities, staffing)
- Curbside collection of organics materials
- Compost marketing and sales
- Maintenance and lifecycle for trucks and carts
- Resources for public education and outreach
WHY COLLECT ORGANICS?
This program is part of the initiatives proposed in the Residential Waste Diversion Strategy approved by Council in 2015. Based on waste audits at the Waste & Recycling Centre, about 57% of the materials in the black cart is organics. The introduction of a curbside organics program means the organics material could be diverted and contribute towards approved waste diversion targets.
After successful implementation of curbside recycling in 2019, Council directed administration to prepare an implementation plan for residential curbside collection of organics. This plan was submitted to City Council as part of the Capital Improvement Program deliberations and was approved on May 18, 2021.
The benefit of a curbside organics program include reduced landfill greenhouse gas and leachate emissions, increase landfill air space availability and provides another option for residential food waste management.