At yesterday's Airdrie City Council meeting, Councillors heard the recent black garbage cart survey results about whether or not Airdrie should introduce a program.

Only 39 per cent of respondents to the Waste and Recycling Public Engagement survey in 2022 thought that Airdrie's present waste collection program was on a level with those of other cities.

An automated black cart program was specifically identified as something that 61 per cent of respondents wanted. From May 23 to June 30 every home that receives curbside collection received a postcard inviting them to take part in the poll along with a special PIN.

The poll was completed by 6058 households, or 28 per cent of all eligible Airdrie homes.

In the survey, 71 per cent of respondents said they were interested in a black cart program while 29 per cent were very disinterested and somewhat disinterested.

The automated program that was presented was created with public feedback and industry best practices in mind, with a focus on diversion.

Many concerns were brought up during the survey like how often would the garbage be picked up with black carts, how much extra this would cost Airdronians and how big the carts would be. Here are the answers to some of those questions:

City of AirdrieInfographic provided by the City of Airdrie.

The city will create a system for residents to determine the appropriate cart size for their families before ordering and distributing carts. Before residents join, education campaigns will assist them in understanding cart sizes, how much fits in each cart, what the program will look like, and how much it will cost.

Staff calculated that an automated collection service has an expected annual increase of between $12 and $16 per household in a study presented to the Council in April 2023.

It was pointed out during the meeting that the current organic bin and recycle bin pick-up schedule would remain the same.

It was recommended that the council accept the following during the meeting:

1. That Council approves the revised garbage collection program that includes all the following service levels:

  • Automated garbage collection;
  • Variable garbage cart sizes;
  • Variable rate structure reflective of garbage cart sizes;
  • Biweekly collection;
  • Two collection days per week;
  • Transparent bags for excess waste; and
  • a medical exemption program.

2. That Council directs the Administration to return in 2024 with the final program design and rate structure.

After an hour-long deliberation, in the end, the council voted to receive the report for information and that council directs staff to return in 2024 with information regarding garbage collection, variable garbage cart sizes, variable rate structure reflective of garbage cart sizes and biweekly and weekly collection.

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