Monday, November 15, 2010

Waste 101

Following an election, new councillors are provided with overviews from each department - a way to make them familiar with complex issues.

What struck me about the Waste Branch Overview was this comment: "Over the past 20 years, an integrated and sustainable waste management system has been developed. This helped us to extend the life of our low cost Clover Bar Landfill by 10 years to 2009. "

Keeping cost low by devastating the envrionment is no longer an option. Citizen's are becoming waste saavy and are demanding more responsible waste handling; this is demonstrated by resident's high participation in recycling initiatives.

Here are two points from the Overview to keep in mind if asked about 2011 Budget issues:

Edmonton’s waste system is undergoing a major transformation. In 2009 the City-owned Clover Bar landfill closed. We’re now making a fundamental shift, completing facilities that will process more waste into marketable products and thereby reducing the amount of waste to be hauled to our long term landfill solution in Ryley.

Our need for a rate increase in 2011 is due to this major shift which will be completed in the next two years. We expect our rate increases will stabilize once this transition is completed and we are diverting 90% of residential waste from landfill.

Remember, we have to open our fist to pat ourselves on the back.

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