This fall, a new waste collection program will be introduced to Township of Langley residents to make garbage and organics collection simpler and more cost effective, and keep organic waste out of the landfill.
In August and September, two new wheeled collection carts will be delivered to every residential property that receives Township garbage collection service. One cart will be for garbage, the other will be for organic material such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and soiled paper.
Under a new semi-automated collection system, organics and recycling will be collected every week and garbage will be collected every two weeks. The current recycling program will continue as normal, through the use of blue boxes and blue and yellow bags.
“This new system will encourage residents to keep organics separate from garbage and out of landfills, where they create methane, a strong greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming,” said Ryan Schmidt, the Township’s Manager of Energy and Solid Waste. “It will be great for the environment, easy to do, and will cost nothing extra,” he said, noting that a successful pilot project indicated many Township of Langley residents are eager to see the new program implemented.
In 2015, the Township tested the new collection program in five neighbourhoods and found garbage was reduced by more than a third per household. Green Cart participation doubled, with the amount of people separating their organics rising from 31 to 78 per cent.
“People are getting into the habit of separating their recyclables and food scraps from their garbage,” said Schmidt. “The new collection system will help residents contribute to reaching our waste reduction goals and adhere to the region’s organics ban.”
On May 30, Township of Langley Council gave final adoption to new waste management bylaws to permit the new municipal collection system.
Single-family homes will receive one 240-litre garbage cart and one 240-litre Green Cart, while those in multi-family homes, such as townhomes, will receive one 120-litre garbage cart and one 80-litre Green Cart.
Although residents will receive just one Green Cart, organics collection will continue to be unlimited. Residents can set out additional material in kraft paper bags or rigid 80-litre containers marked with a Green Can or Yard Trimmings decal. Free Green Can decals are available at the Township’s Civic Facility and Operations Centre, at all community recreation centres, or by mail. Visit tol.ca/greencan.
There will be no cost increase to residents under the new system. Currently, both single-family and multi-family homes using Township pickup services pay an annual user fee of $291.57.
Starting in 2017, single-family homes will pay $290 per year, and multi-family homes with smaller carts will pay $215, if using the standard size carts.
Each property owner will be permitted to downsize, upsize, and even request up to two additional garbage carts to suit their needs. In these cases, the resident’s property taxes would be adjusted down or up accordingly. “The flexibility and tiered cart rate structure means that residents can take control of their garbage costs. Those who produce more or less garbage will be charged accordingly,” said Schmidt. A $50 administration fee will be applied to cart deliveries, returns, and exchanges, but will be waived between January 3 and March 31, 2017, as people adapt to the new system.
“We encourage residents to think seriously before increasing their garbage cart size or requesting extra carts. Instead, they should try to save money and help the environment by placing all organic waste in their new Green Cart,” Schmidt said. “In addition, recycling should be maximized through use of the blue box, blue bag, yellow bag, and local recycling depots. These things alone can reduce household waste by 60 to 70 per cent.”
Apartments and condominiums that currently do not receive Township garbage and organics collection services will be given an opportunity to take part in the programs on an “opt-in” basis, and all newly built multi-family homes or townhouse complexes will automatically receive municipal garbage, organics, and recycling collection.
Materials permitted in the Green Cart include bread and grains, bones, coffee filters, eggs and dairy products, fats and cooking oils, flowers, fruits and vegetables, grass clippings, leaves, twigs, meat, paper napkins and towels, pasta and noodles, pizza boxes, seafood, and tea bags. Plastic bags, including compostable and biodegradable bags, are not permitted in the Green Cart.
Household quantities of pet waste can be put in the garbage cart as long as it is double bagged.
For more information, visit tol.ca/carts or call 604-532-3533.
ONLINE FUN WITH RECYCLING:
A fun and educational way for people of all ages to think about recycling has been created in the form of an online game. Featuring a background designed to represent Langley Township, the Waste Sorting Game can be found at tol.ca, under the Garbage and Recycling main page, where visitors can sign up for collection reminders.