The Town of Ponoka is asking residents to help divert more waste from the landfill by using their green carts, and to use them properly.
The town’s curbside green cart composting program was launched in January, 2019, and since then, the town has diverted 733 tonnes of of household waste from the landfill, which represents 25 per cent of the community’s residential household waste.
“That’s an outstanding accomplishment that exceeded our expectations for the first year,” said Dwayne Kwolick, manager of Environmental Services for the town in a press release.
The provincially-set goal for composting is 80 per cent of waste being diverted from the landfill.
The town is currently diverting a combined total of about 40 per cent of its waste from the landfill through composting, recycling and other material being diverted at the waste transfer station.
The town is reminding residents to bag their compostable waste with compostable bags and to not place regular household garbage in their green bins.
It only takes one plastic bag for a whole truckload of compostable waste to be rejected at the composite site, and it ending up in the landfill, which result in extra costs for transportation and tipping fees.
As those costs could eventually lead to increased utility costs for residents, as utility services are required to be self-sustaining, the town is starting a new green cart tagging program this month.
Collectors will be conducting random inspections t the curb. any carts that contain unacceptable materials will be tagged with a pink sticker and left at the curb un-emptied.
Residents will then have to either take their cart to the dump to be emptied for an $8 fee, or remove the unacceptable items and place them in their grey cart for the next pickup day.
“We’re hoping the tagging program will encourage all residents to be more careful about the items they place in their green carts,” said Kwolick.
Acceptable items include: most kitchen food waste, coffee grounds, cooking oil, egg shells, poultry bones, shell fish, tea bags, certified compostable food containers, food-soiled newsprint and cardboard, facial tissue, food-soiled paper towels and napkins, grass clippings, leaves and wood chips.