Town residents are invited to a public open house to look at ideas for an updated recycle and waste management contract for the Town of Ponoka. The open house is set for Wednesday, July 18 at the Kinsmen Community Centre in Ponoka from 3 to 6:30 p.m. File photo

Ponoka looking at full organics composting program for 2019

The Town of Ponoka seeks input from residents for 2019 at a waste management open house coming up

The Town of Ponoka is looking at a composting program to start in 2019.

To get that going, a public open house is set for July 18 at the Kinsmen Community Centre from 3 to 6:30 p.m., states a release from the town.

The upcoming open house is the next step in a program review and design process that began earlier this year to gauge citizen satisfaction, states the release, and evaluate possible changes to the town’s waste and recycling program for 2019.

The program review and design process involves a significant public consultation component in May plus a survey that was completed by just over 300 Ponoka residents this past spring.

“We’ve listened and carefully reviewed the input we received at the spring open house and from the survey. Based on that input and on the research we’ve done into the cost and potential benefits of various program design options, we will present a proposed program design for public review and comment at this next Public Open House on July 18,” explains Michel Savard, interim director of operations for the Town of Ponoka.

Full Organics Compost Program Proposed for 2019

The main change being proposed to the current program is the addition of a full organics composting program that would allow citizens to compost all food waste in their green carts, including meat and bones, soiled paper and cardboard, pet waste, animal bedding, coffee grinds, tea bags, yard waste and other items.

“A full organics green cart program could resolve a lot of the concerns we’ve been hearing from residents about our current Waste and Recycling Program,” says Savard.

“It would remove smelly items from the grey bins and reduce the amount of waste placed in those grey garbage bins. The green carts would still be picked up weekly from May through October and bi-weekly the rest of the year. The grey carts would continue to be picked up biweekly. It would also help the town get closer to achieving the provincial goal of 80 per cent waste diversion from landfill,” explains Savard.

A full compost program is expected to divert approximately an additional 15 per cent of household waste from the landfill.

That would bring the town’s total household waste diversion rate up to about 50 per cent, as Ponoka continues to work toward the provincial goal of 80 per cent waste diversion. Full details about the proposed full organics compost program will be presented at the July 18 open house.

The town’s current waste and recycling contract expires at the end of this year. Citizen input gathered at the upcoming open house will be carefully reviewed and considered by town council and administration.

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