News Local

Altona asks residents to bag it right

Greg Vandermeulen

Remember to use the right containers when leaving your compost on the curb.

Remember to use the right containers when leaving your compost on the curb.

ALTONA - 

As the leaves begin to fall and local residents clean them up, the Town of Altona wants to remind people that some containers are not acceptable to leave by the curb.
A reminder was sent out Sept. 25, urging people to stop using plastic bags or other unacceptable containers for their yard waste.
It’s nothing new for residents who have dealt with the new rules since compost collection started this year.
“It’s just a reminder,” CAO Dan Gagne said. “It’s a busy time of year and it may not be on the radar screen of some residents.”
Prior to 2015, compost could be placed in plastic bags, and crews would empty them individually into the trucks. Because of the community’s growth and the increase in compost, it became difficult for them to finish their task in a single day.
The new regulations call for residents to put their yard waste in:
• a reusable container with handles of not more than 100 litres which, together with the contents, does not exceed a weight of 50 lbs;
• a non-returnable compostable bag which, together with the contents, does not exceed a weight of 35 lbs.
That can include eco-safe plastic bags, paper lawn bags and plastic garbage cans.
Yard waste place in non-compostable plastic bags or irregular containers such as large, oversized plastic drums, metal oil barrels or wheelbarrows will not be accepted and will be left full at curbside.
Gagne said the town has been impressed with how residents have adjusted to the changes, and said they base their knowledge on how well it’s going by the number of inquiries.
“The way we gauge it, is how many people have called, asking why their bags haven’t been picked up,” he said.
They’ve also noticed that their compost site has remained for the most part, plastic free. “There hasn’t been a lot of plastic infiltration here,” he said. “I think most people would choose to use reusable containers.”
The curbside collection program is part Altona’s waste minimization strategy, which they say significantly reduces the amount of material sent to the landfill.
“Each year valuable organic material is converted into clean, screened compost that is made available to Altona residents at no charge,” they said in a press release. Yard waste is collected everywhere in Altona each Wednesday until Nov. 4.