LETHBRIDGE, AB – Lethbridge residents should make room on their properties for another collection bin in the months ahead.

The City is about to achieve the last step of its Residential Waste Diversion Strategy with organics collection.

The $10,000 organics collection program was approved by City Council this week as part of the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

Waste and Recyling Manager, Joel Sanchez, says final details are currently being worked out as to what will be allowed in the green carts. About 2,000 homes around the city will be chosen to participate in a pilot program next spring.

Sanchez says a three-cart – black, blue and green – waste collection system will help Lethbridge achieve its 65% waste diversion target by 2030.

“Today, in the black carts, half of that material is organic material – food waste and yard waste. With the implementation of [green carts], we’re going to see a huge reduction on the waste that is being sent to the landfill. Even the black carts, some of the pressures and the issues that residents have right now with the bi-weekly collection will be alleviated.”

Organics will be collected weekly during the busy season, between April and November, then bi-weekly between November and April the following year.

For the most part, the green carts will work similarly to the blue carts, with some minor adjustments. “We are going to ask residents to line the cart with paper bags, most likely. Then the material will go to the compost facility where it will be shredded and processed,” Sanchez explained. “So, we’re not asking residents to separate anything. Everything goes inside the cart.”

City-wide implementation is scheduled for spring 2023. That will come with a $5 per month increase on utility bills for single-family homes, or $4 for multi-family buildings.