Thanks to Fort Saskatchewan residents, a staggering amount of waste is being diverted from the landfill and put to good use.
In June, Fort Saskatchewan's first month on the new waste program, 290 tonnes of organics was delivered to the privately owned Clean-It Green-It facility.
The city's diversion rate was about 45 percent in the month. It was closer to 21 percent in June of 2017.
"Now of course that number also captures some recycling... but the bulk comes from our organics program," said the city’s waste program supervisor, Sadie Miller.
City staff are still seeing some issues with contamination in the green organics bins. Glass, rocks, plastics bags and plastic packaging are still too common.
"What people need to realize is the food itself can go into the green cart, but the packaging generally can't."
As for odd items in the green carts, staff have seen shoes, flip-flops and even frying pans.
Each of the three streams, organics, waste and recycling, are collected by a different truck. As mentioned above, organics go to a facility called Clean-It Green-It in the west end of Edmonton. Blue bag materials are taken to a processing facility in Winterburn, which is owned by GFL Environmental. Waste material in the black carts is taken to GFL transfer sites and then distributed to regional landfills.
If a resident is doing yard cleaning and needs to empty a green bin, they can do so free of charge at the transfer site. Grocery bags and glass are also accepted at the transfer station.
The city is taking an educational approach to the new waste concept. While the bylaw includes fines, Miller claims it's unlikely they would be issued.