City reducing waste

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October 21, 2014 9:03 AM

Mayor Rob Saunders announcing the beginning of Waste Reduction Week - Jon Clarke Phoro

Canada Waste Reduction Week took off Monday, and to commemorate the event, the City of Lloydminster is urging citizens to practice proper recycling and waste sorting.

“Canada Waste Reduction Week is just that – we’re trying to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills across the country and divert the material that could be recycled and organic material that can be separated from that waste stream,” said Mayor Rob Saunders, at the kickoff at city hall last Wednesday, Oct. 15.

As a way of encouraging conversation and education around proper waste sorting, the city is holding a contest for children in Lloydminster. A Waste Reduction Week activity page can be found in this newspaper, and kids are invited to match waste items with the correct disposal bin, colour the page and submit it to city hall for a few prizes. The contest runs until Nov. 5.

“We will draw a winner on the seventh, and they can win one year’s supply of blue bags, compostable bags and a 50 dollar gift card for Future Shop,” said Karen Dela Rosa, general manager of waste services for the City of Lloydminster. “There will be one winner from each garbage zone, so there will be five winners.”

“It’s been designed so that residents and children and people in the community can actually identify the recyclable type materials, organic materials and those that go into the waste stream, so it’s more of an educational exercise with a little fun to it,” said Saunders.

He said that Lloydminster already has a stellar system for garbage disposal, compost and recycling, and praised the curbside drop-off for not only its convenience, but also the way in which it helps to divert many recyclables and compost from the waste stream.

“One of the biggest struggles residents might have (with proper waste disposal) is not knowing what materials go into each bin,” he said.

And that’s where the colouring page challenge comes in. After all, kids are a huge part of many family households in Lloydminster, and that means by getting them engaged in disposal education, the whole family can learn, too.

“We view waste reduction as a collaborative effort within the household, so we want the whole family to be involved in knowing which material goes into which cart,” said Saunders.

With their goal in mind, the city plans on offering continual education in waste disposal.

“Last year, we launched the Organics Collection program,” said Dela Rosa. “We have seen an increase in waste diversion from last year’s 36 per cent to 41 per cent. There is definitely a lot of work still that needs to be done to get us to where we want to be and we’d just like to get residents to be involved in making a conscious decision to reduce waste from their households.”

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