Trash talk. Cart convo. Diaper discussions. Call it what you will, I sat down to talk about the future of waste in Edmonton with Mike, a home owner residing in the city’s southeast. We chatted cats, diapers, oh… and garbage, plastics and food scraps after Mike attended a waste drop-in session to share his input on potential changes to waste services and programs.
Are you a born and raised Edmontonian?
I confess, I’m not originally an Edmontonian, but I’ve lived here for five years now and call this city home. I’m from Ontario, near Windsor, but truly from what I call the boondocks — out in the farmland area.
What are your thoughts on how Edmontonians currently dispose of their waste?
I don’t like that I have to go out and buy my own garbage can. People come through my alley and damage my can, or steal my lid. Knowing that there may be changes coming, I’m trying to hold off on buying a new garbage can.
I also don’t like the blue bag system because animals rip through the bags and recyclables end up all over the ground in the alley and that’s no fun! After attending the drop-in session, I was a little disappointed to see how little we actually keep out of our landfill and how many single-use plastics there are and I didn’t know that they’re not recyclable! I would like to see us recycle those plastics, or limit the use of it.
Do you currently do anything at home to keep waste from going to the landfill?
Yeah, I’ve got three of the black compost bins in my backyard because I like to compost and I’m an avid gardener, but I’m running out of real estate. I don’t want any of that green waste, well going to waste!
What are you most looking forward to if the proposed changes are approved by City Council for households citywide?
I’m looking forward to the entire overhaul. I love that there are going to be carts, I love that there’s going to be a green cart and I like that garbage pick up is being shortened to every two weeks. The whole concept is great and I’m excited to see what the future holds because after the system is rolled out, I assume the next step will be to expand our recycling capabilities.
You’re obviously a supporter of separating items for compost, recycling and landfill, but can you think of any challenges your household might experience with the proposed changes?
A small adjustment on my end would be my driveway in the alley. It’s not the best space to store carts on collection days because I need the space to get my vehicle in and out, but I really don’t see this as a major issue to the potential roll out of a new system. I’m also going to be a father for the first time later this summer, so I’m curious to know how a new waste system will handle specific situations like diaper overload at one house.
Do you feel there’s a need to make changes to how Edmontonians are disposing waste?
See previous answer about single-use plastics ha ha! But in all seriousness, it was the biggest take-away learning I got from the drop-in session. We need to find a way to limit the amount of single-use plastics we use every day.
Changes are coming to the way you sort and manage waste, at home and at work. As an Edmontonian, you have an opportunity to help the City adjust and shape these changes by providing your thoughts and perspectives. Until April 15, join us at one of our public drop-in sessions and take our online survey to share your thoughts at edmonton.ca/futureofwaste.ca