PONOKA NEWS STAFF
With a new yard waste collection program in the Town of Ponoka, there were bound to be some hiccups and they have already surfaced.
The most recent of the issues that need to be addressed is that collectors are finding garbage in the yard waste bins. In a press release, the town provided some clarity to remind residents of what is accepted.
“No garbage, no plastic bags, no recycling materials or any other kind of waste should be thrown into the green carts because it contaminates our compost piles and defeats the whole purpose of the program,” explained Jill Owen, operations manager.
As the yard waste portion of the program is a bagless system, plastic bags should not go in the bins either.
Another area of confusion appears to be over the stickers on the green bins. Green for Life, the company contracted to implement the town’s waste program, provided the bins with a sticker used in communities that host composting of food waste. However, Ponoka is only set up for yard waste composting.
“Any garbage, recycling, food waste or other waste that’s thrown into the carts gets mixed into that compost pile and contaminates it, which may require the compost to be trucked to the landfill,” explained Owen.
Proper items for the green yard waste bins are grass clippings, leaves, plant debris and small branches less that one inch in diameter. To ensure the proper waste is going into the bins, town staff will monitor the bins to help educate residents.
“Any green carts that we find containing bags, garbage, recycling or other waste will not be collected,” says Owen.
Items not accepted are tree stumps or logs, sod, soil, rocks, bricks and treated wood. Owen suggests it takes time to learn a new system. “We are confident that once we achieve that level of awareness with the Green Cart Program, it will have a big impact on reducing the amount of waste Ponoka sends to the landfill.”