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Strategic direction for solid waste program approved

By: Victoria Paterson

  |  Posted: Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 06:00 am

POLICY PASSED – A new waste strategic direction policy includes targets for increasing organic collection and minimizing waste.
POLICY PASSED – A new waste strategic direction policy includes targets for increasing organic collection and minimizing waste.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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City council wasted no time approving the solid waste program strategic direction on Monday night.

In addition to approving the strategic direction, a motion from Mayor Nolan Crouse added a rider for a waste program policy/policies to be brought back to council by Feb. 28, 2015.

The addition of asking for a policy is part of a recent pattern from the mayor.

“What we’re doing is we are taking these things in too much of a one-off,” Crouse said. “What you’ve done is an outstanding document in terms of strategic direction. Not good enough … let’s lock something into public policy.”

The strategic direction approved by council includes goals for the next three to five years such as increasing organic collection services, encouraging commercial recycling and organic collection, diverting construction and demolition waste, participating in regional collaboration for waste minimization, updating existing waste goals in the environmental master plan and reviewing existing systems.

City facilities will be part of the attempts to increase organic collection.

Coun. Sheena Hughes was concerned about developing a policy, telling her fellow councillors she’s heard about people struggling with having garbage collection only once every two weeks.

Crouse said a public policy being proposed would mean a more public debate than strategic directions usually get.

“I’m not going to prejudge what the policy is,” he said.

Christian Benson, waste programs co-ordinator for the city, recapped recent solid waste management history with council as well as discussing the strategic direction suggested by staff.

Coun. Cathy Heron had wanted to see new waste goals.

“I was slightly disappointed I didn’t see new targets today,” Heron said. “I was hoping you would come with some grand vision.”

Council approved the strategic direction as outlined in the report and asked administration to bring back a policy or policies next year in a 6-1 vote. Hughes was the lone vote against the motion.


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