Curbside recycling program saves 3,750 tonnes of recyclables from landfill in first year

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Staff report a 15 percent drop in the number of recyclables being put into black carts, but an audit shows that 10 percent of the material being collected in the black cart could still be recycled.

Breaking down the material’s arriving at the City of Lethbridge’s sorting facility, 46 percent is cardboard 29 percent is mixed paper, 14 percent is newspaper, five percent is mixed plastics, three percent is comprised of tin cans, one percent is beverage containers, two percent is high-density polyethylene and 10 percent is considered contamination.

A combined 89 percent of the materials are fibers. These materials have been shipped to mills and recyclers in Canada and the United States, with a combined seven percent of materials being plastics. Those have been shipped to Canadian recyclers.

OPERATING BUDGET

The City says the program’s operating budget was well balanced, “particularly given it was the first year of the program”.

Costs, which cover curbside collection and the operation of the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) neared $5.47 million, with revenues from the MRF and the curbside collection fees totalling $5.48 million.

The Waste and Recycling team is continuing to implement recycling for multi-family homes now that curbside recycling for single family homes has been fully implemented.

The implementation of recycling for multi-family homes is expected to be completed by December 2021.

The City says staff will continue to educate the public to recycle often and properly decrease blue cart contamination, as well as reduce the recyclables that are still ending up in the landfill.



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