Lethbridge’s curbside recycling pilot spurs feedback from city residents

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WATCH: Phase one of Lethbridge's curbside recycling program is now a couple of months in. Some residents like it, but others have some concerns. Demi Knight explains – May 1, 2018

Now officially in its first phase of implementation, the curbside recycling program in Lethbridge arrived at 900 homes this spring, and it’s generating both excitement and concerns about the new program.

“I think that it might cause issues with some people in the community,” said Ed Williams, who recently received a blue bin as part of the pilot project.

“But if you’re doing it properly and doing it right, then it actually separates itself by half and you have plenty of room when you go to do your recycling and when you go to do your garbage.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge residents split on curbside recycling

The city delivered blue bins along with instructions on how to use them in five different communities within the city earlier this year. Residents have had a little time to get familiar with the new process and gain some perspective on how this program will work.

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“I think it’s been pretty good,” Williams said. “They sent out the documentation, they explained the schedule and pickup and they tell what wants to be sorted and how it needs to be sorted and it’s been working out really good.”

“We got a paper that said everything that can go in it, and actually we don’t have to sort through cardboards and papers anymore, because it can all just actually go in there and then they just take care of it,” said Emilie Pain, another Lethbridge resident.

But not everyone is as pleased to see the new additions on their doorstep. A couple of community members told Global News they were concerned about the future costs associated with the new system and the potential for decreased garbage collection.

“What we are doing with the $7 fee is it’s going to cover for the facility, for the equipment, for the process and the collection of the recyclables,” said Joel Sanchez, general manager of waste and recycling services with the City of Lethbridge, when asked to respond to these concerns.

“Right now, moving into a bi-weekly theme, we are planning to use the $7 to cover the costs for the facilities and the collection day.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge mayor says there’s only one way curbside recycling will be stopped

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With questions on the minds of residents during a city council meeting on Monday, Mayor Chris Spearman also offered more information on the program and addressed other concerns expressed by the public.

The remaining residential properties who don’t yet have blue bins will see them arrive in 2019, and are encouraged to continue recycling at the city’s three depots until then.