Committee approves pilot project for organic waste recycling

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Green bins may soon be joining the black and blue ones on Calgary curbs and alleyways.

In a committee meeting on Wednesday, eight council members voted unanimously to go ahead with a pilot project that would expand the city’s curbside recycling program to include food and yard waste pick-up.

With the committee’s approval, the proposal will be passed along to city council for a vote on Nov. 7.

As part of council’s bid to reduce the city’s total waste output 80 per cent by 2020, the green cart pilot project would include four Calgary communities.

By next spring, up to 7,500 homes would receive a 120 litre green cart for their organic waste. The pilot project would determine the viability of adding a third bin to the existing recycling pick-up program.

More than half of a single-family household’s waste is currently compostable, a city report indicates.

Dave Griffiths

Dave Griffiths, president of waste and recycling services for the City of Calgary, talks to reporters Wednesday after a unanimous decision by council members to go ahead with an organics recycling pick-up service pilot project, to begin in 2012.

Photo by: Scott Taylor Dave Griffiths, president of waste and recycling services for the City of Calgary, told council that the pilot project would test different collection methods and frequency. It will also help determine costs, and the need for the construction of a large-scale processing facility in or around Calgary.

Ald. Brian Pincott has been a long-time supporter of city-wide recycling. He said he’s excited about the prospect of adding composting to the mix.

“I think it’s pretty significant that we’re doing this, and we’ve made such a big shift in our attitude and our processes in such a short time,” he said.

Ald. Druh Farrell was also happy with the result of yesterday’s committee meeting, but was disappointed that it’s taken this long.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said.

Farrell recalled putting in the notice of motion for the project just under 10 years ago.

“The timeline is a problem,” she said, concerning the length of the pilot project.

The pilot is said to begin in March 2012; however, the full program isn’t in the books until the 2015-2017 business cycle, according to a city report.

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