The Town of Turner Valley has gone all in on curbside waste pickup.
Monday night council unanimously agreed to spend $100,000 on bins for organic waste. The bins, like those used in Okotoks and Calgary, can be picked up by an automated truck on the street.
The move will mean Turner Valley residents will have full-service waste, recycling and organics pick up, likely starting in the spring of 2022.
Outgoing councillor Jamie Wilkie said this is a project he wanted to see through before his term ends in a few weeks.
“I’m thrilled this is going ahead,” Wilkie said. “I can’t believe we didn’t start recycling four years ago.”
In July, Turner Valley council also approved another $100,000 for bins to facilitate curbside recycling pickup.
The Town is working with Okotoks to create a regional agreement for all curbside waste pickup. Turner Valley and Black Diamond are already one year into a three-year pilot project with Okotoks for garbage pickup.
Curbside recycling and pickup are expected to cost the residents an extra $8.50 per month. A portion of the fee – a dollar a month - will be saved in reserves to pay for the future replacement of broken or damaged bins. The bins are expected to have a seven to 10-year life span.
It is also expected garbage pickup fees could drop by as much as $2 per month due to decreased volume and therefore reduced tipping fees.
Currently, Turner Valley and Black Diamond residents can bring paper, glass, cardboard, metals and electronics to the Oilfields Recycling Centre.
The Towns share the cost of the recycling centre and will need to come to an agreement on its future use.
Turner Valley Mayor Barry Crane said curbside recycling and organics pickup will reduce the effort for residents and will help extend the life of the landfill.
“Pickup is a streamlined service that takes the headaches out of residents' pockets and puts it right at their footsteps,” Crane said. “So, no more driving with a car full of recyclables. Now it is just out to the curb and you are done.”
A study done in May showed that 46 per cent of waste from Turner Valley going to the landfill was organics and just over eight per cent were recyclables.
Crane said diverting that waste will allow the Foothills Regional Landfill to extend its lifespan. The bins ordered this summer have a six-month delivery backlog, he added, and are expected to arrive in the Town by December, followed by the organics bins in February.
Several councillors suggested the Town should look into giving residents an option for a smaller organic bin in the future.
Coun. John Waring said he lives in a condo and it is tough to find space for three large bins.
“It is going to be a problem for some people,” he said.
Crane said it is their hope to get curbside recycling and organics pickup started as soon as possible.
According to a report from administration, Black Diamond and Turner Valley will need to agree on a unified rate restructure for waste pickup and the full service could begin in April or May of next year.
Black Diamond council delayed purchasing recycling bins in July and will discuss the issue again Oct. 6 at their last meeting before the election.
The same study of Black Diamond’s waste showed that 43 per cent was organic waste and just over 20 per cent was recyclables.