Recycling activity on the rise

Environment: Oilfields Recycling Centre sees record high rates

By: By Tanya Kostiw

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 11:13 am

Dusty Williams, who works for the Town of Turner Valley, stands with one tonne of cardboard that was dropped off at the Oilfields Recycling Centre.
Dusty Williams, who works for the Town of Turner Valley, stands with one tonne of cardboard that was dropped off at the Oilfields Recycling Centre.
Tanya Kostiw/OWW

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Recycling activity has been increasing in Black Diamond, Turner Valley and the MD of Foothills which has led to a record high of nearly 400 tonnes for the area’s recycling centre.

For the past several years, recycling amounts at the Oilfields Recycling Centre have been increasing and the amount of garbage being sent to the landfill has been decreasing. The recycling centre broke its volume record in 2010 with nearly 280 tonnes of recyclables. This volume was again exceeded in 2011 with a total of nearly 400 tonnes.

“Last year was an exceptional year,” said Dusty Williams, who works for the Town of Turner Valley at the recycling centre.

Williams attributes this success to education in the marketplace and through the Town’s efforts at the recycling centre and online. He is also working to include some tips on topics such as water conservation and composting to appear on the Town bills.

About 5,000 residents from Turner Valley, Black Diamond and the MD of Foothills use the Oilfields Recycling Centre, while some residents pay a private company to pick up their recycling products at home, which are ultimately brought to the recycling centre.

T & T Disposal Services started to offer its recycling pick-up service two years ago and has residential and commercial clients in Diamond Valley and all over the MD. These products are brought to the Oilfields Recycling Centre.

Owner Karen Matlo couldn’t disclose how many clients take part in the company’s recycling services, but said sales for this service have increased by 25 per cent the past year and more people are signing on every month.

Moving forward, Williams said education will continue to be important and he has about 25 initiatives planned, such as programs for children and displays at the recycling centre, such as a worm composting exhibit that teaches people about composting. If people compost products like food waste and leaves, this could cut 35 per cent of waste out of the system, he explained.

“Those numbers are big and that’s part of the goal to help reduce the waste in Alberta,” he said.

The provincial government has directed municipalities to achieve an 80-20 ratio of products they recycle and waste sent to the landfill. Williams said Turner Valley’s waste amounted to just over 30 per cent last year, for nearly a 70-30 ratio.

Turner Valley Mayor Kelly Tuck is confident the 80-20 goal is achievable and believes Williams is the right person to help reach this target.

Tuck has been investigating an initiative in Halifax where waste must be put in a clear bag. If the bag includes any products that could have been recycled, it will not be picked up.

“I think there’s some really good initiatives out there and council really needs to look hard at them,” she said.

Tuck added she was pleased to see residents in the community recycle more.

Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown was also glad to see area residents reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill and attributed much of the success to peoples’ awareness.

“Our community as a whole needs to be applauded in both (Black Diamond and Turner Valley) as well as the MD,” she said.

The recycling centre is also working on an initiative where cardboard is shredded onsite and sold as mulch for gardens and animal bedding instead of shipping it out to be processed.


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