When it comes to keeping recyclable and organic items out of the landfill, Lethbridge falls behind many communities in Canada.
It’s this trash talk that inspired the Environment Lethbridge’s executive director to kick off a campaign to get people to stop throwing everything out and to waste less.
“Per capita waste is about 1,150 kilograms per person per year, compared to Canada, which is about 700 kilograms per year, so we are quite a bit higher,” Kathleen Sheppard said.
“We encourage everyone to go to the website and hopefully they will feel inspired about what’s there,” she said. “Then we are asking people (to) post their pledges on our Twitter or Facebook page with the#WasteLESS.”
According to Environment Lethbridge, the average household throws away eight pounds of waste daily.
In 2015, residential waste consisted of:
- 27 per cent trash;
- 25 per cent recyclables;
- 48 per cent organics.
“Almost half of the waste that goes into the landfill is organic and food waste, so people who want to make a big difference, that is where we would really encourage them to focus,” Sheppard said.
The issue of waste diversion and recycling services in Lethbridge has been before city council for eight years.
Council voted against curbside recycling in January.
READ MORE: Is Lethbridge an eco-friendly city?
“We are stalled right now … with residential waste. (There) is still a high proportion of residential waste … going into the landfill,” Mayor Chris Spearman said.
The mayor says the city is targeting waste diversion at an industrial level.
“There’s increasing participation by those companies and those institutions, certainly the question was raised, deal with them first and then deal with us,” he said.
The mayor and Sheppard both agree there is still a long way to go for waste diversion in Lethbridge.
For the time being, the hope is people will take it upon themselves to to be inspired and maybe even to pledge to take steps to be wasteless.