Recycling was again a big discussion for Whitecourt council members this week at their town council meeting.
The Town of Whitecourt has extended its recycling program with their waste management company until 2021, to coincide with the waste collection contract also expiring in 2021. This will give Administration time to explore the idea of having one collection contract for both waste and recycling in the future, and find other options in helping to reduce waste and increase recycling.
While the Town approved the extension of its recycling program, Council noted they have seen a reduction in recycling by town residents.
While residents are allowed an unlimited amount of recycling, most recyclables are still put as waste in the garbage bins and taken to the landfill, decreasing the diversion rate.
Mayor Maryann Chichak says when the Town had a two bag garbage limit, residents would put more recycling bags out. Since going to the automated collection program with the garbage bins, she says more waste, including recyclable items, now goes in the bins and gets transported to the landfill.
Chichak on the reduction to recycling from residents and the next steps Council will focus on.
Chichak says she would like to see more of an effort by residents to recycle, as opposed to sending items to the landfill.
Council will look at new initiatives and Chichak said ideas, like composting or public awareness campaigns and educating youth, are all things that could be explored going forward.