Monday, Sept. 13 is the first day of the new 3-stream roadside collection service for residents in the City of Port Alberni. Over the last two weeks, new recycling and organics carts were delivered to every single-family home within the municipal boundaries by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD). The distribution of 13,000 carts was a large job and there’s more work ahead for all of us to ensure the program is successful and there is minimal contamination between the waste streams.
For those who have missed it: an organics collection service is being introduced to help reduce the amount of waste that is currently sent the landfill. Waste audits have shown that up to 50 per cent of the waste in our garbage bins could be composted or recycled. The roadside organics cart will help to reduce waste our landfill – extending its life and avoiding pricey gas-capture systems that could be required without this step.
Which Carts on What Day?
Each organics cart should have had a sticker on the lid which states the first day of pick-up and which carts will be put out that week. Each week, you’ll roll out your organics (green) cart, along with either your blue (recycling) or black (garbage) cart – alternating. Your recycling, which has always been every two weeks, remains on the same two-week schedule. We strongly encourage people to use the Sortn’Go app which lets you type in your house address and alert you to your schedule. It will even send out an alert if there’s a change to your schedule.
How to learn what goes in each bin?
If you are unsure about an item, you can use the Sort’nGo app to search an item and see where it goes. If the item isn’t yet identified, it will be flagged, and the app will be appropriately updated. You can also call the Sort’nGo hotline, who will be available for the next few months to answer your questions. The number is
• Blue Recycling Cart (biweekly – on the same two-week schedule it has been on)
Nothing has changed in terms of what is accepted for roadside recycling collection. Items must be kept loose in the cart and no overflow will be collected; the lid should be closed. Printed paper, cardboard, plastic containers, aluminum foil and containers, are some of the items accepted. All glass, Styrofoam and soft, flexible plastics are not permitted but are accepted at the 3rd Avenue Recycling Depot or alternatively the recycling station at the Alberni Valley Landfill.
• Green Organics Cart (weekly)
All household food waste (think “scrape the plate”) is accepted in the green organics cart. Bones, grease, dairy, bread are of few of the items. Kleenex, paper towel and greasy pizza boxes are a couple more items that previously were considered garbage that now have an alternate end of life. Yard waste such as grass clippings, leaves, and small branches (2 inches in diameter and 2 feet in length) are also accepted. Please no invasive species (Japanese knotweed, broom, ivy, blackberries), these remain garbage and are accepted free of charge at the landfill.
• Black Garbage Cart (biweekly – on the alternate weeks of your recycling)
So, what is left to go in the garbage cart…. Hopefully, not much but here are a few of the items that are still considered garbage. Plastic cutlery and straws, diapers and other personal hygiene products, plastic toys and hangers, disposable gloves and masks, and broken glass, to name a few.
Stay in the Know with Sort’nGo!
Visit www.letsconnectacrd.ca/organics for more information about the Organics Collection Service and to ask questions. Questions about sorting? Download the free Sort’nGo app from your mobile app store for Android and Apple phones. You can also check out the Facebook Page “Alberni Valley Waste Reduction Education” at facebook.com/ACRD.recycles which has weekly tips and updates for the valley. Community groups and local business can also contact the ACRD to arrange for an educational presentation for the coming service.
Transition can often be difficult, but the pros of implementing this new 3-stream waste collection service will benefit the residents of the Alberni Valley and the environment for years to come!