Edmonton’s first year of waste sorting and cart collection is complete. The City is diverting significantly more waste from the landfill, and remains committed to listening and working to adapt the program to meet resident needs in 2022.
“We’re off to a strong start,” said Jodi Goebel, Director, Waste Strategy. “It’s resident efforts that make the biggest impact. Edmontonians have adapted well to setting out their carts and have made significant strides in sorting their waste. These actions are helping to divert more waste from the landfill and keeping our collectors safe.”
According to a report released Thursday, early estimates show that food scrap and yard waste collection helped divert over 30 per cent of single-unit residential waste from the landfill in 2021. An official diversion statistic will be released in spring 2022.
Moving forward, the City will continue to research and evaluate how to better help residents use the new curbside cart collection system. With 98 per cent of residences setting out their carts correctly, the City will shift its focus to helping homes improve waste sorting in the coming year. The contents of an average black cart could shrink by an additional 40 per cent as residents become more accustomed to properly sorting their waste into the food scraps, recycling or yard waste streams, according to the report.
“The City can’t make the same positive impact on waste diversion through processing as 250,000 households can by properly sorting their waste,” said Goebel. “When residents take the time to separate their food scraps and yard waste, we can make sure it’s processed into beneficial products like electricity and compost.”
The City will continue to listen to Edmontonians about possible program adjustments. In response to resident feedback, the 2022 yard waste collection schedule will be adjusted so that both the spring and fall yard waste collection dates are later to allow residents to make the most of this service. Operational standards for yard waste collection, including bag colour, have also been clarified: in 2022, yard waste will be collected in paper yard waste bags or see-through plastic bags of any colour.
“We offer several ways to dispose of yard waste besides spring and fall collections, including topping up your food scraps cart or dropping it off at an Eco Station free of charge. But as we continue to look for ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce, we also need residents to start thinking differently about yard maintenance,” said Goebel. “Grass clippings, in particular, are 80 to 85 per cent water and decompose quickly when left on the ground. ‘Going bagless,’ as we call it, also adds moisture and valuable nutrients back to your lawn. When you think about what grass clippings are made up of, it makes sense that we would want to collect less and less each year.”
The Edmonton Cart Rollout was implemented within the approved budget. By keeping within this budget, Waste Services was able to recommend a zero per cent rate increase for the second year in a row, which City Council approved in December.
Residents are encouraged to download the popular WasteWise app to help sort their waste and to view their collection calendar. As a new way to reduce waste this year, residents can opt out of receiving a printed collection calendar by filling out the form at edmonton.ca/waste before February 14, 2022. Paper Waste collection calendars for 2022-23 will be delivered in March to residents who do not opt out.