How Calgary's Green Bin Program Helps Reduce Waste
April 16, 2018 | by QualicoCommunities
Since the roll-out started in June of 2017, Calgary’s Green Bin program has been reducing waste and generating nutrient-rich compost or our communities to re-use. This easy and convenient program allows households to dispose of their food and yard waste in green bins that get collected weekly by the City of Calgary. The waste then gets turned into nutrient-rich compost, rather than going to waste in our landfills. The Green Bin program was an early success in the city’s pilot communities and on a city-wide basis, their success would translate into over 85 million kilograms of food and yard waste being kept out of landfills every year!
Anything new is always a challenge to get used to but this fantastic program has a tons of benefits, which we will go over as well as review the program! Here’s what you need to know about Calgary’s Green Bin Program.
Benefits of the green Bin
Though the program has yet to be in place for a full year, the benefits of the Green Cart Program are already being realized. Prior to the beginning of the program, food and yard waste was the single largest type of waste filling landfills across the city. Though it is early, some communities have already reported that garbage has dropped to nearly half of the amount that was being collected just one year ago.
Beyond limiting waste in our landfills, the Green Bin Program also creates nutrient-rich compost to be used in our gardens, reduces greenhouse gases caused by landfills, and cuts landfill costs by slowing the rate at which they fill up. It’s a great initiative to help preserve our planet! To learn more about the benefits of the Green Bin Program, watch this great video.
How the program works
The City of Calgary’s Green Bin Program has distributed green bins to single family homes throughout the city. This includes duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes. This program also provides households with a 7 litre kitchen pail for kitchen waste such as food scraps. On the same day every week, bin contents are collected by the City of Calgary and taken to their state-of-the-art composting facility. Curious what goes in your green bin? Here’s a list of compostable materials the Green Bin Program accepts.
Though all residents are eligible for the program and you cannot opt out, you are required to pay for the program’s services. Phased in by quadrant, households will be required to pay $6.50/month for the Green Bin Program; with the southwest began being billed in January and the northwest (February), northeast (March), and southeast (April) joining monthly.
Calgary’s composting facility
When the City of Calgary committed to the green initiative, they were sure to go all in. The city’s new composting facility is the largest of its kind in Canada! Located on the Shepard Waste Management Facility south of 114 ave SE, this incredible facility produces high-quality compost from both food and yard waste that is collected through the Green Bin Program. The $143 million facility will process up to 145,500 metric tons of residential food and yard waste every year.
When creating the facility, no detail was overlooked and the entire composting process was considered. From start to finish, the composting process will take approximately 60 days, with the end result being valuable nutrient-rich compost to be reused. This compost will also be tested to ensure it meets Canadian environmental standards for compost to be used in any application. To learn more about the composting process, click here.
Environmental initiatives like the City’s Green Bin Program align closely with Qualico Communities Calgary’s support of environmental responsibility through our EQWell initiative. Through EQWell, we are committed to reducing the ecological impact of our communities. This includes activities such as water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, and responsible landscaping. Visit the EQWell website to learn more about how we are doing our part to minimize our impact on the environment and create innovative, diverse communities that cater to every stage of life.