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Green Cart Pilot

The City began a Green Cart food and yard waste pilot involving 7500 homes in four communities in March 2012 to learn from citizens’ experience in developing recommendations for a city-wide composting program. The green carts accept all food and yard waste, which represents nearly 60 per cent of household garbage.

In the first four months, 700,000 kilograms were collected from pilot residents, who reduced their garbage by 40 per cent compared to other communities. This is enough material to produce over 28,000 bags of nutrient rich compost that can be used to enrich the soil in gardens, parks and farms rather than being buried in the landfill where it would have taken up valuable space and produced greenhouse gases. Green carts are helping to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills, which is critical to achieving Council’s goal of reducing per capita waste by 80 per cent by 2020.

The green carts make it easy and convenient to compost more material:

  • Green carts accept all food including many materials that cannot be composted in a backyard composter such as meat, bones, dairy products, fish, cooked foods, paper plates, weeds and pet waste. It’s as simple as scraping your plate into the green cart.
  • Year-round weekly collection of green carts allows citizens to set out food and yard waste whenever there is a need. This makes it more convenient for residents as other yard waste collection programs are seasonal in nature and many backyard composters stop composting in the winter.
  • Large volumes of yard waste can be collected and composted. If participants have more yard waste than will fit in their green cart, then they can use sturdy yard waste bags for any excess material.

The pilot embodies the Transforming Government principles as green carts provide an easier way for citizens to further reduce waste. It also allows more than 7,500 households to experience the service and provide their feedback on the program to inform and refine city-wide recommendations. Further, due to the decrease in garbage, the pilot allows The City to test the collection of black carts once every two weeks, which results in more efficient garbage collection.

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A culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary.
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What is Transforming Government?

Government exists to serve citizens. Every day, citizens are touched by The City of Calgary and the services it offers. Transforming Government is a culture of constant improvement at The City of Calgary — improvement that makes life better for all citizens.

In 2011, Mayor Naheed Nenshi and City Council unanimously agreed to embrace and reinforce this approach to constant improvement — Transforming Government is a way to do just that. So, when you see the Transforming Government stamp on something, you know it is part of something that makes Calgary even better.

A public work, an initiative, project, program or plan marked with Transforming Government reflects one or more of the following principles:

Transparency provides a clear view of exactly what’s going on “behind the scenes”, so citizens can understand why a project or service exists.

Accountability is the clear demonstration of how and why The City has done something, and that The City and Council accept responsibility for the decision, program or plan.

Civic Engagement is a commitment to bring together citizens, organizations, and City employees in the planning and development of our great city.

Innovation describes new ideas, services, or approaches that make living and working in Calgary even better.

Citizen Orientation ensures that a program, project or service is designed with customers or citizens in mind.

Sustainability describes long-term thinking that makes for a healthy community, environment, and economy, now and in the future.

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