BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Summer employee Chris Sitko assembles new composting bins at the Eastview Landfill on Wednesday afternoon. The new bins are being put into service throughout Brandon, and are proving more popular as the second season of the city’s green cart program gets underway.
As the green cart collection program launches its second season, the number of participating households continues to rise.
Currently there are roughly 3,600 participants, with more registrations coming in regularly. The program will be capped at 6,000.
"We’re trying to keep up with the demand," said Scott Haddow, lead hand in the city’s sanitation section. "We’re starting to get lots of people registering for the program. The last week or so our numbers have started to really spike, so we’re trying to keep up with that."
Collection of the green-lidded compost carts started this week and will run weekly for the first month of the program, when spring cleanup is in full force. Participating households will have compost pickup on the same day as their trash and recycling carts are picked up.
Starting May 27, the schedule will switch to biweekly pickup during the summer lull.
"We did a survey earlier this winter, one of the questions was how often do you put your cart out for collection?" Haddow said. "Eighty-three per cent of respondents said they would be able to go without pickup for two weeks or even a month at a time, during non-peak periods."
Each weekday will see green carts picked up only from half of the households on that day’s route. The other half will be picked up on alternate weeks. Compost pickup will again become weekly on Oct. 14, and the program is expected to end for the season on the week of Nov. 4.
In its first year, green cart compost collection program has managed to divert more than 870,000 kilograms of compostable material from the landfill.
The program received an overwhelming response from residents and sign-ups had to be capped at 3,000.
Based on 6,000 residents composting and the rates the city got from the pilot project, they could extend the life of the landfill by six years, from 2042 to 2048.
"It’s good for the environment, it creates a valuable end product that people can reuse and it saves the life of our landfill," Haddow said.
Anyone interested in participating in the green cart program is asked to sign up online at brandon.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We’re accepting registrations as long as we have space available in the program, so I would suggest not waiting too long before signing up," Haddow said.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 1, 2014