St. Albert goes green at record speed

St. Albert has exceeded its waste diversion target eight years ahead of schedule.

One year since the introduction of the automated curbside solid waste program, residents in St. Albert are one of the leaders in the country in recycling, composting and sending less garbage to landfills.

“St. Albert is proud of its environmental stewardship, which is reflected in the many parks and trails and the river valley,” says Mayor Nolan Crouse. “Through collaboration between City staff and residents, St. Albert has become a regional and national leader in its commitment to the environment, and we will continue to look at ways of improving this City service as one of the ways of preserving and sustaining our environment.”

St. Albert has several green programs in place, including a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ solid waste system, in which residents pay more when they produce more waste. The city also has curbside recycling, curbside organics recycling through its green cart composting program, as well as recycling and compost depots.

One of the goals of St. Albert’s Environmental Master Plan was to reduce solid waste to 125 kilograms per person per year and the amount of waste sent to landfills by 65 per cent by 2020.

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The City of St. Albert has now met and exceeded this target with its residential waste diversion of 65.9 per cent and waste generated per person per year at 114 kilograms.

“We are very pleased that we were able to meet and exceed our targets and the implementation went well, and overall residents are satisfied with the program. As with any new service we anticipated some challenges and are monitoring the program and concerns residents raise and are working to address them on an ongoing basis,” says Glenn Tompolski, director of public works. “We have made some improvements such as, enhancing services at the recycle depot and better options for fall leaf collection. We will continue to listen to residents and continue to make improvements to the program in the future.”

The City also implemented a number of initiatives and improvements to help reduce waste sent to landfill. Residents can now bring certain household hazardous items such as paint, motor oil, as well as extra garbage and scrap metal to the recycling depot. The first “Large Item Drop-off” event was held in October 2011 and helped nearly 450 people dispose of unwanted big household items. Another event is planned for July 28, 2012. A complete A-Z Waste Wise list of proper options for disposing household items was recently developed and distributed to all households and is also available online.

Click here for a complete copy of the one-year report on the solid waste program.