The Town of Olds has announced that it will be offering two new incentive programs aimed at promoting sustainability and eco-conscious practices. The Town will be starting the Rain Barrel Rebate Program as well as the Home Composter Rebate Program.

"Under these programs, Town of Olds residents who purchase rain barrels and home composters on or after April 22, 2024, are eligible to receive a 50 per cent rebate, up to a maximum of $50 per item," The Town stated.

The initiative is meant to incentivize the adoption of rainwater collection and home composting practices, aiming to reduce the town's water consumption and alleviate strain on municipal infrastructure, as well as mitigate organic waste sent to landfills. Mayor Judy Dahl said that both programs are meant to empower residents.

"The Rain Barrel Rebate Program and the Home Composter Rebate Program exemplify our commitment to fostering a sustainable and resilient community. By empowering residents to embrace environmentally friendly practices, we can collectively make a significant impact on conserving our natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint."

To qualify for the rebates, one must be a resident of Olds and have a utility account with the town. Rain barrels and home composters that are eligible for the program must be purchased new. The Town also underlined that one application form must be completed for each new compost bin rebate, and there is a maximum of one compost bin per residence; compost bin rebates are processed on a first-come, first-processed basis.

But Olds is not the only municipality to be encouraging residents to invest in rain barrels. Locally, Volunteer Airdrie in conjunction with the Youth Volunteer Corps has teamed up for their Saturday, May 11 rain barrel sale. Pre-order sales ended on Sunday; 204 rain barrels were ordered, exceeding the minimum truckload goal by 104. 

"This sale benefits Youth Volunteer Corps/Volunteer Airdrie and will be held at #265232 Rural Road 14 / Range Road 14, Airdrie, on Saturday, May 11 from 11:00 a.m. till 3 p.m. with home deliveries commencing after the event and continuing daily until completed," stated.

At least eight of the 19 models on the website have been sold out. 

The City of Airdrie also runs a rain barrel sales program, which has seen popularity this year as well. In its April 29 update, the city stated on its website that it was sold out of rain barrels.

While Airdrie and the surrounding areas are experiencing sustained rainfall, the province continues to be at stage four in its drought preparedness, the last level of preparedness before declaring an emergency at stage five.

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