Bradley McDonald’s family likes to tease him that he looks a little bit like the Banana Man.
The Banana Man enjoys a starring role as mascot of the City of Fort Saskatchewan’s organics collection program. As manager of infrastructure strategy for the city, McDonald has a role in helping make sure Fort Saskatchewan’s waste collection program is running smoothly.
This year, McDonald decided to bring a little waste management fun to Halloween, donning the yellow banana peel that has been hanging around since the city used it in some promotional videos earlier this year.
“I just borrowed the costume and I thought I'd try it on and climb into one of the city's bins and show the bin off and kind of recreate the look,” he said.
Waste collection in Fort Saskatchewan underwent some major changes this spring. In May, the city delivered new waste carts to all households receiving curbside pickup – black bins for material going to landfill, green for organic waste such as food debris.
With winter on the way, the city has now switched to a new green cart pickup schedule. Beginning the week of November 4, green carts will be emptied every other week instead of every week. Green cart collection will take place the same day as black cart collection. Blue bags will continue to be picked up weekly.
The city has some tips when it comes to making sure organic material doesn’t freeze to carts this winter.
“What we recommend is to use the compostable bags because they kind of provide a barrier between the plastic cart and the organic material,” McDonald said. “Other options would include wrapping it in newspaper or using paper bags or just liners in the cart.”
According to McDonald, the first six months of the city’s new waste program have seen a lot more material kept out of landfills.
“The diversion rate historically has been only about 20 per cent. So that means that about 80 per cent of everything that gets thrown out is going into landfill,” McDonald said.
Since the launch of the green cart program, the city’s diversion rate has climbed to about 40 per cent.
Weekly organics pickup will resume in the spring.