This section explains the current and/or upcoming waste programs and initiatives in Okotoks.
Upcoming Waste Initiatives
The Town of Okotoks is piloting a four-month garbage collection program in the neighbourhoods of Mountainview and Woodhaven,where the black garbage carts will be collected every second week, rather than weekly.
- The pilot will begin the week of June 4, 2018 and end on September 28, 2018
- The pilot is happening only in the neighbourhoods of Mountainview and Woodhaven
- Your garbage collection day is not changing.
- Your recycling and organics collection schedule is not changing. Regular weekly collection of blue and green carts will continue throughout the pilot program.
- Over the four month pilot period, your household will be rebated an estimated $10 ($2.50/month). You will see the rebate on your October utility bill after the completion of the pilot program
- If you will have consistent excess garbage, you can request a larger black cart, at no charge, for the duration of the project.
- If you anticipate occasionally exceeding capacity, you can request free additional excess garbage bags. Each bag holds approximately 60 litres and has a rated weight of 15kg.
If the options outlined above do not satisfy your needs please call 403-938-8054 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Never miss your collection day again! Use the Town's online notification tool to help you remember your waste collection day, or get instant access to your garbage and recycling schedule in the palm of your hand. Using your address, access your own personalized collection schedule. You can download the mobile app and/or sign up for phone, text, or voicemail collection reminders online.
The Town appreciates the information and feedback residents in Mountainview and Woodhaven have shared with us regarding the upcoming garbage collection pilot project. Approximately 130 people participated in the survey, as well as speaking with us on the phone and through email.
The challenges you have identified have generated valuable ideas on how the Town can adjust the pilot prior to its implementation in June. For example, the most frequent concern was from families with more than one child in diapers who produce larger amounts of garbage each week
In the long term, the Town may incorporate a user-based costing model for waste, similar to our water utility rates, where there is a fixed cost and a secondary variable cost based on garbage volume produced. This means that lower garbage volume will result in lower fees. The goal is to find the right balance between fixed and variable costs, and to provide choice and flexibility to meet individual situations. Your participation will provide an understanding of residents’ needs and habits and help the Town refine its waste programs to meet the needs of its residents.
Your participation in this pilot project is extremely important to provide information that will guide the future direction of waste management in Okotoks. The best decisions result when the public participates in the consultation, providing the Town with more robust data.
Pilot Project - a public participation tool
The every-second-week garbage collection pilot project is an important consultation tool, where the Town works with community representatives to gather feedback, observations and information on the viability of a program or initiative prior to making a decision on incorporating it on a larger scale.
The Town is using this public participation tool at the consult level to work with residents in the Mountainview and Woodhaven neighbourhoods to explore garbage collection options.
We appreciate that the key to a successful utility model is one that reflects Okotoks’ specific situation in order to meet the needs of all residents. This project will help to inform this future direction.
All research will be included in a report presented to Council in the fall.
We look forward to discussing this project with you in more detail and appreciate your input to help the Town make decisions that reflect the community’s priorities and needs.
Throughout the pilot, the Summer Conservation Educators will be returning to your neighbourhood to discuss your experiences.
As a participant in the pilot, and to help the Town measure successes and challenges, households involved in the pilot will also have the opportunity to complete a survey at both the start and end of the pilot program. The post-pilot survey will open approximately two weeks prior to the end of the pilot program to allow you the chance to share your experiences, challenges and any changes in habits you may have experienced throughout the pilot.
Because waste diversion is an important element of this project, the Town will also be available to further assist residents in accurately sorting garbage from recyclable and compostable materials.
Waste audits provide opportunities for households to learn more about what can be diverted and often discover tips and tricks that can increase the amount of materials that are going into the blue and green carts.
Based on a 2017 analysis of waste activities, Okotoks’ black carts still contain:
- 45% organic waste
- 30% recyclable materials
To request a visit from a Conservation Educator, call 403-938-8054
Use the Waste Wizard tool to learn how to properly dispose of an item. Simply type in the name of the waste item and it will tell you how to recycle, compost or dispose of it. A lot of your waste can be diverted from the landfill. It's easy!
As part of the Town's ongoing efforts to research garbage set-out habits in Okotoks, the Town is inviting all residential households in Sheep River Ridge to voluntarily participate in this second set of research on garbage collection needs.
For a four-month period, starting June 4, 2018, we are asking Sheep River Ridge households to voluntarily place black garbage carts out for curbside collection only when it is full. Depending on a household’s needs, they may need to place their garbage cart out weekly, once every two weeks, or maybe only once per month.
Now that every Okotoks home has a blue recycling and green organics cart, various residents have indicated they do not require weekly garbage collection and some are already choosing not to put their garbage carts out every week.
By partnering with the Town on this research, Sheep River Ridge residents will help further inform the Town on garbage habits and needs in Okotoks. Research on how frequently households in Sheep River Ridge need to have garbage collected will supplement an every-second-week garbage collection pilot happening in the Mountainview and Woodhaven neighbourhoods at the same time.
This combined research will assist the Town in exploring options to evolve the waste utility towards a user pay model, similar to the Town’s water utility, where lower garbage volume results in lower fees. In the long term, the goal is to find the right balance between fixed and variable costs, and to provide choice and flexibility to meet individual situations. Your participation will provide an understanding of residents’ needs and habits and help the Town refine its waste programs to meet the needs of its residents.
Under the Okotoks 2020 Waste Management Plan, the Town is working to achieve an 80% community waste diversion target by 2020 to align with the province’s goals to divert waste from landfills and to extend the life of Okotoks’ regional landfill.
All research will be included in a report presented to Council in the fall.
- Your collection schedule and collection day of the week are not changing. Weekly garbage collection will still be provided for Sheep River Ridge households who require it.
- Place your black garbage cart out for collection when it is full, on your regular collection day
- Continue to place your blue recycling and green organics carts out weekly for collection
- Between June 4 to September 28, 2018, the Town will be monitoring how frequently black garbage carts are placed at the curb using barcode scanners on the Town’s garbage trucks
Member municipalities of the Foothills Regional Service Commission (FRSC), including Okotoks, are currently exploring amalgamation of waste resources and the collaborative development of a Regional Waste Management Program, which includes investigating a facility for processing recyclables (a Material Recycling Facility (MRF)). The regional collaborative would be responsible for the collection and processing of waste, organics and recyclables in the Foothills region.
Members of the FRSC include the municipalities of Black Diamond, High River, M.D. of Foothills No. 31, Nanton, Okotoks and Turner Valley, serving a total population of approximately 60,000.
The FRSC manages the Foothills Regional Landfill and Resource Recovery Centre .
This initiative, which resulted from two reports (CH2M Hill- 2015 and Tetra Tech-2017), led to an expression of interest by individual Councils to pursue a regional waste solution. A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) with representatives from each participating municipality and a representative of the FRSC was formed in 2018.
Starting in 2018 and building on the initial studies, the TAG will work to develop a proposal for the FRSC that offers an alternative service delivery and implementation options report (2018-2019). The desired outcome will encourage and support the partners' achievement of the province's targeted waste diversion rate of 80% away from the landfill by 2020. Municipal partners will pool resources to create a more efficient and effective regional program that aligns with the FRSC mandate.
A materials recovery facility (MRF, pronounced "murf") is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials through both manual and automated processes for marketing to end-user manufacturers.