Multi-family recycling

Apartment dwellers will finally get their own version of the city’s blue-cart recycling program — in two years — if council approves the latest plan. A report made to the Utilities and Corporate Services committee on January 29 revealed the city’s recycling strategy for multi-family dwellings — buildings such as condos and apartments with more than five residential units. Calgary’s blue-cart recycling program began in 2007 but was only available to the city’s 300000 single-family homes. There are currently 163000 multi-family units in Calgary.

The new strategy will mandate multi-family buildings to arrange for on-site recycling with private companies. The city will bear the cost of communicating the details of the program and monitoring adherence but each property will cover the cost of its recycling. About 30 per cent of these residences already have privately contracted onsite recycling.

Dick Ebersohn of Calgary Waste and Recycling Services says there is “really a big push to get this done” from both the city and stakeholders that participated in forming the strategy. He also says the city will monitor the use of community recycling bins currently located in parking lots and community centres across the city to determine how many can be removed once apartment residents have access to recycling on their doorsteps.

The report estimates multi-family residents account for roughly half of the 11000 tonnes of material currently dropped off every year at community recycling depots.

Council will discuss the strategy on February 8. If approved it’s expected the strategy will be fully implemented by 2016.