For all the leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste that pile up in the spring and summer, the City of Brandon is considering a new collection program.
Scott Haddow, lead hand of solid waste collection, said they hope to launch the roadside pickup this spring.
“What we would basically do is we would run down the back lanes and the front streets and pick up excess material that people have from their yards,” Haddow said. “This would be available to all residents of Brandon, not just people that are in the (green cart) program.”
Residents would be asked to bag the yard waste in paper or compostable bags. Haddow says this type of program could divert even more material from the landfill.
“We’re just trying to make it more convenient for people,” he said. “We find that if we make it more convenient, more people will participate in the programs. Taking material to a depot isn’t convenient for a lot of people.”
There are currently depots around the city where people can drop off grass clippings, leaves, etc., but many residents still throw those types of material in the garbage.
“If we can divert more material from the landfill, rather than it going in their garbage bin, that’s a bonus,” he said.
The city’s sanitation department is currently gathering feedback from its 3,000 participants in the green cart organics program. The survey asks 15 questions, including one asking if they would take advantage of a leaf collection program.
The survey also asks residents how often they put their green carts out for pickup on average.
“So far the results are showing that most people would only put their bin out once every two weeks or once a month,” Haddow said. “So we’re looking at possibly going to a bi-weekly collection during the non-peak periods.”
Last year, the new green cart compost collection program managed to divert more than 800 tonnes of compostable material from the landfill. The program received an overwhelming response from residents, and sign-ups had to be capped at 3,000.
After a successful 2010 pilot project, in which 500 homes received the green bins for kitchen and yard compostables, the city obtained provincial funding to expand the program to 6,000 homes.
The city expected to ramp up to that number over a few years — but demand for the compost bins exploded last spring.
The plan is to expand the program to 6,000 this summer. So far, an estimated 300-400 people have signed up.
“People that are wanting to participate, we’re definitely taking registrations,” Haddow said.
Visit brandon.ca/sanitation to register.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 1, 2014