The City of Lethbridge is beginning the rollout of its new green cart program. About 1,900 households are part of phase one of the organic collection program. The homes are in three different neighborhoods across the city — Legacy Ridge, Varsity Village and Hardieville.
Phase one is designed to give the city a chance to work out issues and work out details before full implementation in Spring next year, according to James Nicholls, Waste and Recycling Utility Operations Manager.
“Some of the big things we are looking for is how much we are expecting to collect from every household, that’s one of the biggest questions,” he said. He added Legacy Ridge is an area that produces a large amount of waste and Varsity Village is not. Phase one will help the city determine how big routes need to be and how many staff are needed for the program.
The areas were chosen for phase one for many reasons, including socioeconomic reasons, tree cover, age of families and size of road, Nicholls said.
He said the green bins are versatile and can help reduce waste in the black bins. Residents can put any organic materials in them, including yard waste, meat, bones and food waste.
“We know that over half of what is going into our waste stream right now is divertable material into our green cart so we are really optimistic that we are going to see a significant move away from collection on the waste carts,” Nicholls said.
Households included in phase one will not be charged for their organics collection until the program is rolled out city-wide, according to the city. Each household will receive a 240-litre green cart and an eight-litre kitchen catcher pail with a brochure and user guide about the program.
The first phase one collection date is set for May 12 and it will continue weekly until November when collection will move to bi-weekly pick-up. Participating households can confirm their organics pick-up date by checking the Lethbridge Loop app or by referencing their information package in their green cart or by reaching out to Lethbridge 311.
As the new compost facility is progressing through construction, the collected materials will be stored at the Waste and Recycling Centre and processed by an off-site contractor, the city said.
This first phase will include consultation with participants to help inform decisions around the future implementation of a city-wide curbside organics program.