From Blue to Green

CalgaryBlueCart

It’s the beginning of a new era in Calgary, and just in time for Earth Day 2009. No longer will we need to sort, store and haul our recyclable materials to the depot. No longer will we have to throw all of our plastic packaging into the landfill…because curbside recycling is coming to a community near you.
Yes, curbside recycling does pack a bit of a learning curve but we’ve done the research for you (no thanks required, that’s what we’re here for). Here is the 411 on your new greener pastures ahead.

Let’s start with who gets pick up. You qualify if you live in a single family home or multifamily dwelling with four units or less. (There is an $8 per month fee which will be tacked onto your Enmax bill.) Those households that don’t qualify for the service will not be charged. You can find a depot map on the City’s website.

The good news for apartment and condo dwellers is that the drop off depots will remain open and will be reconfigured to accept plastics. Contact your condo board to organize private recycling with a company such as Calgary Community Recycling or Calgary Condo Recycling.

The new blue cart program will pick up the majority of your household recyclable materials including plastics. However, there are some conspicuous omissions including organics.

Batteries and light bulbs are also not accepted in your blue bin but many retailers such as IKEA or The Source recycle single use batteries. Rechargeable batteries can also be returned to a number of retailers such as Home Depot. You can find a list of drop-off points on the Call2Recycle site. IKEA also accepts all light bulbs (including fluorescents) for recycling.

Many other materials such as wood, electronics, paint and old appliances can also be recycled. Have questions? We love the staff and volunteers at Clean Calgary Association. Or call 311 and a City staffer will attempt to put you on a greener path.

Finally, reusable clothing, toys, housewares and sporting goods can find new homes and benefit charity. Both the Cerebral Palsy Association and Canadian Diabetes Association accept donations. Another option is to swap clothing at the Recession Fashionista Clothing Swap on May 2.

So no longer will we have to be green with envy because of our northern neighbour’s recycling program. We’re a city of recycling champions now too!

Tested by Heather J., Calgary

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