The first Resource Recovery Plan was developed through extensive public consultation in 2008 and adopted by Council in March 2009. Strategies included expanded recycling and organic waste diversion programs as key contributors to waste diversion. Since that time, new implementation plans were created in various years. In December 2014, Council endorsed the updated 2020 Waste Management Plan which identified critical areas that should be addressed to achieve an 80% waste diversion target for the community. The strategies and programs from the plan specific to the 2016 implementation included:
- Implementing a universal recycling collection (blue cart) and a universal organic waste collection (green cart) program for all single-family households
- Evolving the Okotoks Recycling Centre at its new location into an Eco Centre, providing for safe disposal of excess and niche materials
In 2014, extensive public consultation resulted in creating the Okotoks Community Vision which was approved by Council in early 2015. A specific Value to be a ‘green’ community is further emphasized in the ‘Environment’ theme as a result of many comments regarding citizens desire to be a leader in environmentally responsible services such as recycling, composting and waste management.
In the spring of 2015 through January 2016, the Town developed Community Sustainability Plan (CSP) with extensive community consultation. The final CSP approved by Council in April 2016 included a key action of “Expand Environmental Initiatives”, and specifically to “Implement universal recycling and organic waste cart collection program” as a result of community feedback.
Other considerations include that the Summer Conservation Educator program which has focused on waste reduction since 2010. In 2015 and 2016 alone, they have visited over 3,000 households to educate residents on waste management, including a strong emphasis on the organic waste program in 2016.
Other general publications and notices to residents to advise them of the intent to move to a universal waste management program included for example, the 2016 budget process and final approval of same, and the 2015 Community Report.