Environment File


A bottleneck at the factory means that St. Albert’s new electric buses won’t get here until next year, says the head of the city’s transit service.

The city bought three electric buses earlier this year with the help of provincial GreenTRIP funding as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It now plans to buy another four, as the federal and provincial governments chipped in an additional $3 million earlier this month.

Those first three buses were supposed to have arrived earlier this fall. That got pushed back to Dec. 15, and now it’s been bumped to January.

The problem was that manufacturer BYD Coach & Bus Ltd. only had one painting booth at its factory, said city transit director Kevin Bamber.

“They can produce the buses faster than they can get them through their painting booth.”

The company sent up a test bus for the city to use, but it shipped with a busted heater, Bamber continued. It likely won’t hit the road until February.

St. Albert Transit otherwise has all the wiring ready for the buses and is expecting the charging stations to arrive in a few weeks. Once the buses arrive, the plan is to have them run on all of the city’s routes.

Christmas is almost here and that means a lot of festive trash.

St. Albert’s trash shipments to the Roseridge Landfill hit their peak each January, with some 6.5 tonnes dumped on average that month in the last three years, said manager Gerard Duffy. That’s actually lower than the 7.6 tonnes a month the city produces the rest of the year, likely a consequence of all the low-mass, high-volume wrapping paper and Styrofoam left after Christmas.

Wrapping paper is recyclable and can go in the blue bag as long as it’s not metallic or covered in sparkles, said St. Albert waste and diversion programs co-ordinator Olivia Kwok. Bows and ribbons have to be trashed, but can often be reused. An even better solution is to wrap your gifts in reusable scarves, cloth bags or Christmas sweaters.

“There’s a lot of food that is going into the green cart that could have been prevented,” Kwok said.

Try to plan your meals to avoid over-purchases, and make sure to ship each guest home with a lot of leftovers.

“Everyone likes extra food after the holidays, right?”

Kwok recommended donating any unwanted decorations you might have instead of throwing them out. Any wreathes and tinsel you toss will have to go into the trash, as they’re not recyclable.

Biological Christmas trees will be picked up curbside from Jan. 9 to 20 for composting provided they’re not wrapped in plastic or decorated, Kwok said.

Other recyclables can go in your blue bag or to the recycling depot in Campbell Park, which will close early at 2 p.m. on Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Curbside collection on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 will be delayed until the next day.

Waste questions should go to Kwok at okwok@stalbert.ca.


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