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    Categories: At Home

Composting through the city

The City of St. Albert began its compost waste recycling program back in 2011 and encourages residents to pick up compost bins to collect fruit and vegetable scraps

Composting at home is thought to be a hard task, but St. Albert is trying to make it easy for residents to turn their organic waste into city compost.

The city provides a green organics cart for residents to collect organic waste from their homes and that the city picks up. Items can include fruit/vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, tea bags and grass clippings. The city program also accepts items like meat, bones, cooled cooking oils, and dairy products.

The program reduces the amount of household garbage that ends up in the landfill and turns residents’ kitchen waste into rich compost city residents can use in their gardens.

Olivia Kwok, Supervisor of Waste & Diversion Programs, said the city compost waste program diverted 11,249 metric tonnes of organics through the Green Organics Cart program and Compost Depot in 2016.

“We’ve also been doing education and outreach these last few months to educate residents on the green organics cart. We’ve set up information booths at various city facilities, giving away compostable bags and teaching visitors on how to make an organics origami liner. This information reminds residents to use only the appropriate bags and liners in the program,” says Kwok.

Residents can make liners out of newspapers or cardboard to line their green carts, so that there is residue left at the bottom of the carts. Most plastic bags are not compostable and should not be placed in the organic carts. There are specialized compostable plastic bags that are BPI certified which can be found at your local grocery store and used in your green organics cart.

“The materials inside the green organics cart are brought to Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission to be processed. At their site, the materials are composted through an open windrow system. Once the materials have been turned into compost, the city offers the compost giveaway program. Residents can pick up free compost in the spring and fall at the Mike Mitchell Recycling Depot,” Kwok says.

City residents can turn in their kitchen waste all year round as green organics carts are collected weekly from April to the end of October and bi-weekly from November to the end of March.

Diverting compostable kitchen waste reduces pressure on the city landfill site. It is estimated that more than half the waste in landfills in North America comes from materials that could be composted.

For more information or to learn more about your composting options, please visit https://stalbert.ca/waste

St. Albert Gazette: The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.