Saturday, December 31, 2011
What has been the highlight of your year? Share it in the comments section. Please mention this blog as one of your highlights, even if it is your first visit - I need the emotional support...
Have fun tonight!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Read the full article at http://www.futurity.org/earth-environment/worm-compost-keeps-seedlings-safe/
Check out the brilliant photo - the cosmic metaphor of micro-organisms is obvious. There is a universe in every drop of compost! Read Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets.
I start the new solar year (22 Dec) by planting a tray of seeds. This year I am going on a winter vacation and I won't be able to start growing as early as usual so I chose to Go Wild!, as the Edmonton Naturalization Group says. My tray of 5 native plant varieties is stratifying on my porch until I return from my holiday.
Can't wait to win the Front Yards in Bloom Natural Garden award this year!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Staff in our downtown office decorated this Christmas tree with ornaments made from recycled items, such as this one I'm holding made from a used light bulb.
These recycled items remind me of the beginning of our modern waste management system.... a simple recycling pilot.
They remind me of how much we have achieved as a result of this simple act and how, at times, simple words are all that's needed.
As such, I send you heartfelt thanks for the role you play in making our Branch a leader among cities and in delivering services that are most appreciated by our residents.
I wish you and your family an enjoyable Christmas and hope that 2012 will be a year you'll want to remember.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I don't think they'll complain.
Bulbs (aka CF lamps) from Coronation and Strathcona Eco Stations are sent to Ambleside for processing. It can take a variety of bulb shapes and sizes, and the video below demonstrates how much impact it will make on our waste stream.
Just another example of the excellent services residents get for their WM Utility fees.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
On Monday I had the opportunity to tour two industries in Edmonton that purchase and process some recyclables from our blue bags/blue bins. Thanks to Garry for organizing the trip!
The tour visited Allied Paper Savers and the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation Materials Recovery Facility(ABCRC MRF).
Allied Paper Savers purchases newspaper which is collected at Recycle Depots around the City. This newspaper is sorted and sold to CAN-CELL Industries Inc. to be turned into one of three products; Weathershield, Wallbar, and Fibremulch.
The ABCRC MRF receives refundable bottles collected from Bottle Depots in Edmonton and beyond. One interesting fact is that caps do not need to be removed from refundable containers taken to the bottle depots, however residents are still encouraged to remove caps for collection with Caps Off Program. Proceeds of the program go to the Rainbow Society of Alberta. This facility was beautiful to explore with large cubes of compacted milk cartons, plastic bottles, and aluminum drink cans stacked around the warehouse.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
L'Uni Théâtre has kindly donated two ticket to the opening night performance of Grace and Gloria.
DO YOU WANT THEM?
Email MCRP(at)Edmonton(dot)ca with L'Uni s'il vous plaîs! in the subject line, and they may be yours. We will put all the replies into a hat and draw the lucky winner on Monday.
You can send us one email per day!
Check their website for more!
Two women clash and find comfort at pivotal points in their lives in the heartwarming drama Grace et Gloria (Grace and Gloria) by Tom Ziegler, translated by Michel Tremblay. This collision of down-home values and contemporary norms between two women seeking balance in their lives launches L'UniThéâtre’s 19th season and runs Nov 17-20 and Nov. 24-27 at La Cité francophone (8627-91st St.).
With glowing accolades, such as the New York Times review declaring the show a “sentimental odd-couple crowd pleaser,” and the Toronto Star’s assessment as “a wry take on that well-worn battle between common sense and education,” Grace et Gloria is a bittersweet drama that aims to take comfort in unusual circumstances. Grace has just been released from hospital, sent home to die of cancer while real estate developers bulldoze her property. Gloria is a Harvard-educated business- woman whose participation in the New York rat race was sidelined due to her son’s death and finds herself as Grace’s caregiver. Given their different backgrounds, the two find solace in sorting through their emotional baggage, tackling such issues as religion, child-rearing, death and ultimately, love.
Grace et Gloria (Grace and Gloria) by Tom Ziegler, translated by Michel Tremblay is directed by Daniel Cournoyer and stars Thérèse Dallaire and Kristi Hansen. Technical direction by Erik Martin, assisted by Julie Becquart, costumes, set and lighting by Guido Tondino and Victoria Zimski, stage production by Pat Eyford, soundscapes by Jason Kodie.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Why are you requesting a fee increase of 5.9%? (from $31.34 to $33.20 for single family and from $20.37 to $21.58 for multi-family)
Of the $1.86 per month increase (for single family homes), 38 cents is for the services provided directly to residents (collection services and operations at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre). The remainder is for non-operational increases, such as financing costs and corporate administration costs.
The waste fee supports garbage and recycling collection, Eco Stations, Big Bin events, recycling depots, all the environmentally responsible processing operations at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, and landfill disposal.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
“This shows that Edmontonians really are the foundation of our success in waste management,” says City Councillor Don Iveson. “We’re seeing a growing number of people reducing their waste through grasscycling and composting.”
An estimated 50,000 tonnes of waste is avoided each year through the waste reduction practices of Edmontonians. Without these activities, the City would need to collect and process about 20 per cent more material.
The City of Edmonton encourages grasscycling and composting through a variety of activities:
The Composting Education Centre at the John Janzen Nature Centre
Composting workshops in the spring, summer and fall
The Master Composter Recycler volunteer program
Education programs and partnerships
For more information on composting and grasscycling, visit www.edmonton.ca/waste.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Do you like movies? Do you like learning? Do you like easily accessible information? Well you are in luck! You can access all Edmonton Waste Management videos from one location. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2DE015911255BDD3
Please bookmark this link and share it with friends, family, and strangers if they are interested in our videos.
Monday, September 26, 2011
People had fun exploring the John Janzen Nature Centre site: participating in the Treaure Hunt, watching bird banding, finding water insects in the wetlands pond area, playing in the newly redesigned auditorium.
Friday, September 23, 2011
See more at the website: http://www.fruitsofsherbrooke.com/
Also, Canada A.M. had a very interesting interview with Carol that you might want to hear.
See you all next week at the Telus Science Centre!"
She can produce four Rubbermaid totes of compost every year by using organic food scraps, coffee grounds, and some shredded paper. It’s easy to do, it doesn’t smell, and it doesn’t require too much effort. The end result is a lot of rich and healthy compost.
Here is Marilyn’s recipe for success:
2 Rubbermaid tote bins
2 containers (ice-cream bucket size, one for compostables, the other for dirt)
1 bag of leaves
1 small hand-held rake
1 pair of rubber gloves
-Mix the layers often by hand (using the rubber gloves) or with your small raking tool.
-The more often you mix the materials, the faster it decomposes and the fresher it smells.
-Occasionally, when you mix the materials in your bin, you might smell a faint odour. Stir it up when escaping odours won’t interfere with people on their balcony, like in the early morning or late evening after supper. When the lid is back on there is no odour.
-Get leaves from a friend or relative, or visit a nearby park and help yourself. Marilyn cleans the park in return for the gift of leaves.-If you go on holidays, by layering the materials, your bin will still compost.
-Freezing basic materials helps them break down faster.
-Keep the contents as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
Use your compost as a top-dressing for house plants, lawn areas, or around shrubs.
Mix some in your watering can and let it sit overnight to make compost tea.
Fill a zipper-style storage bag with dry compost and craft a fancy package out of reuse materials for a wonderful and completely home-made gift.
When you are at the Reuse Centre collecting materials, say hello to Marilyn sorting in the volunteer room – she will be thrilled to share tips on her balcony composting techniques.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Sure, one day won't change the climate back to one with birds and frogs chirping instead of fierce winds, drought, and brown skies. But it is one step on that journey, and for some it may seem to be a pretty big step. Once accomplished, the next step becomes easier.
If you absolutely must drive your car, keep the Fuel Sense tips in mind:
- drive at the speed limit
- use cruise control on FLAT highway only
- Don't Idle! Have you tried hypermiling?
- Limit air conditioning
- Decelerate gradually
- Anticipate stops
- Inflate tires
- Plan routes to reduce drive time
- Use lighter weight multigrade oil in the fall
What are you doing this week?
Monday, September 19, 2011
A South Australian Research and Development Institute study has demonstrated yield increases in orange orchards of 17 to 63 per cent. Fruit measured in the trial increased in diameter by 5 mm to 7 mm on average.
Why is this so exciting? People sometimes need to be hit over the head with a tonne of evidence before they will believe the simplest fact; sometimes we are too apologetic asking people if they wouldn't mind please trying to compost and grasscycle a bit. Every bit of good news helps clear up some confusion. Read the full article by clicking on the title.
Friday, September 16, 2011
To help prevent stings remember:
• Be careful not to disturb nests
• Never strike or swing at a wasp
• If a wasp gets close to you, move away slowly
• Avoid heavy, flowery perfumes, colognes or scents
• Drink sweet drinks from containers you can see into. If something end up in your mouth, tilt your head back, open your mouth, be still, and cross your fingers
• If a wasp gets into your vehicle, stay calm and stop in a safe place with as few quick movements as possible - use your hazard lights.
If you find a nest in your compost, avoid disturbing the pile until after the night time temperature drops below -10.
If you notice a nest, like the one hiding in the foliage above, near your garbage put-out or other public area, take the time to put up a sign alerting your collector and passers-by to the hazard.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Radio ads will air on Sonic, the Bounce, Now and the Bear.
Also, watch for ads online, on the LRT, in bus shelters, and in the Metro newspaper.
Grads will be able to ACE THE TEST on Vovici and be entered to win a very tasty prize! If you don't get 100% you will be entered to take some follow up training instead. (kidding)
Friday, September 2, 2011
Many of you have met Laura already at trade shows and in the 2011 Master Composter/Recycler class. She will be sending out the emails and be the one who schedules and communicates with you about your activities! She is a delightful addition to our team as you will find out if you aren't already acquainted with her.
Good luck to Patty, and a big welcome to Laura!
It also demonstrates that compost land application has long term benefits.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I saw this recycle bin in Dapp, Alberta on the weekend.
Dapp is a small town that takes its connection to wildlife very seriously.
One side of the bin says "Every time you recyle an Owl smiles!!"
The other side says "Every time you smile a fish recycles!"
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Even corn cobs are full of juicy sweetness and can be used to flavour broth.
While you enjoy the article, I will be gathering tomato scraps...
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
C&D Recycling gets automatedAn expansion of the construction and demolition recycling site at the EWMC is currently underway.
A new six stream separation process targeting un-sorted C&D waste is expected to be up and running by this October.
It will include sorting and stockpile areas and feature a new 50m x 80m facility that will use both automated and manual sorting, by a crew of up to 20 City and contracted employees.
The process will produce clean end products that can be marketed or reused in Branch operations.
“The expansion was needed,” states EWMC supervisor of operations Shailesh Modak, who will oversee its operation. “We are being proactive by expanding our facilities to divert mixed C&D waste from landfill.”
C&D waste accounts for a quarter of the total amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfill in Alberta.
Items to be recycled include:
- metals (ferrous and non-ferrous)
- drywall off-cuts (unpainted)
- wood (treated and untreated)
- asphalt shingles
DID YOU KNOW?
Four to seven tonnes of waste (six 12-yard bins) is produced during the construction of an average house.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
I did indicate that I would endeavour to transform my front yard from lawn to re-usey, gardeny complete-with-compost-bins goodness and some of you were interested in my progress.
Please follow along at my REVIVE page, the photos are in the album “Front Yard Transformation”.
Neil B (class of 2011) was kind enough to arrange a clandestine visit (kidding) to the MRF to scour the Yellow Pages bins and I’ve built the rough drafts of some of my raised beds. Suggestions are always welcome!
I completely appreciate feedback, comments, and advice.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Refuse Collector Kevin Gall takes a turn at collecting while fellow
Collector Dan Zilinski drives. The vehicle is one of two rear end loaders
in our current waste fleet.
The advantage? - smaller wheel base for ease of access into tight areas plus the obvious - taking turns at the wheel...
Sunday, June 12, 2011
“Customers love it,” states Coronation Eco Station Foreman Hal Whitford referring to the bagged Second Nature compost available at all three Eco Stations. In fact, customers like the 30 litre bags of compost, which are available for $6 apiece, so much that the Eco Stations are having a hard time keeping the material in stock!
“Some customers will purchase 10 or 15 bags at a time and use it to top dress their lawns or in their flower beds,” says Hal.
This is the second year the Eco Stations have carried the Second Nature compost in the new, stylish bags. The Second Nature compost is produced at the EWMC and is made up of a mixture of residential organic waste and biosolids. The compost is also available in bulk at many local retail outlets.
Check www.edmonton.ca/waste for more information.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Building Capacity: Renewable Energy Potential in Edmonton
Presented by Gordon Howell, P.Eng., Howell-Mayhew Engineering Inc.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
12:10 to 1:00 pm
Transcending Change: Making the Green Transition
Presented by Vik Maraj, Human Relations Specialist,VIKMARAJ Consulting
Tuesday, July 12
12:10 to 1:00 pm
Urban Biodiversity: Oxymoron or Conservation Opportunity?
Presented by Dr. Guy Swinnerton, Professor Emeritus,University of Alberta
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
12:10 to 1:00 pm
The location, unless otherwise specified, is City Hall – City Room (1 Sir Winston Churchill Square).
Bring a friend, your lunch and a refillable mug with you. Hope to see you there!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Depot attendant Miles Curry (class of 2010, at right) helps a customer off-load some material at the May 8th
Big Bin Event.
The year’s Big Bin Events got off to a great start with a steady stream of residents taking in the opportunity to dispose of unwanted large items.
In 2010 the events accepted a whopping 2,202 tonnes of material - the equivalent weight of 174 ETS buses. For dates and locations of the 2011 Big Bin Events visit www.edmonton.ca/waste
Depot attendant Patricia Cuteri directs
customers to the appropriate disposal area at the May 8th event.
THIS WEEKEND - Woodcroft
NEXT WEEKEND - Northlands
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
On Sunday, June 5, pack up the family and head to the north Legislative grounds for a fun, informative Environment Week Kick-off event. Everyone ‘caught’ enjoying a waste-free picnic will be given tree seedlings, while supplies last. There’ll be kids eco-games and activities. Take a close look at a mobile air monitoring lab, and check out a hybrid car. Enjoy a fashion show with a ‘re-use’ twist, music and dance. Learn how easy it is to go green at information sessions. Feel the heat generated by the sun through a solar panel. Be part of the launch of Green Shopper Expo and the Edmonton Green Catalogue.
The following day, June 9, Churchill Square will again be hopping from 4 to 7 p.m. for Gardens and Green Spaces. Learn more about the Community Garden Network, bring the kids to make some interesting crafts, and get tips about food, your garden and biodiversity.
At each of these Environment Week events, your enter to win some super prizes! There’s a total value of over $10,000 in terrific prizes available. You can enter at any of these events, and the draw will be held at the end of Environment Week.
For details about these and more Alberta events during Environment Week, visit the Green Stop website at http://www.environment.gov.ab.ca/edu/eweek/2011/greenstops.asp.
For City of Edmonton events, visit www.edmonton.ca/environmentweek
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Why the change?
Mailing the schedule is more efficient and is now possible because of changes made to the format of both pieces of information.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Steven Biggs says "buying new soil every time it gets hard is like buying a new car every time yours runs out of gas." A brilliant analogy I will use often. Compost, after all, is the fuel that drive plant growth. With Second Nature available at $6 per 30 litre bag, the price at the pump is just 50 cents per litre!
Thomas Christopher gives this wonderful tip about reducing your lawn's carbon footprint: "Once you start mowing do not back up or make turns so tight they require slowing down. Let your mower decide the shape of your lawn and when you are done mowing remove the areas that were not cut." Elimiating little corners and areas we need to go over again and again, either with the mower or whipper, greatly reduces our energy consumption.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
- Next time you see your neighbour bagging their grass clippings, run over and tell them about this secret stash. Tell them how easy it is to get rid of weedy lawn under a layer or organic waste and wood chips, and then plant a few attractive shrubs instead. Point to your own yard and boast about how little work it takes and how good it looks!
- The Details:
NOTE: You must load by hand - this is not for contractors.
Mulch is great for the soil, reuses waste, and reduces yard maintenance. Kids will love hunting bugs in its fragrant, living biomass. It also makes you yard look great!
Friday, April 1, 2011
Early this morning, Waste Branch Manager Roy Neehall got his vehicle stuck in a windrow outside his home.
The snow pile was left behind by a neighbour also leaving to work for the City of Edmonton. Transportation Operations Manager Brice Stephenson insists it was not intentional. The two neighbours are on friendly terms, and often "Buddy Up" their garbage and recycling.
After shovelling himself out, Neehall was able to collect his full route before arriving at his office on time.
Hope you are having a wonderful April Fool's Day! Here in the offices we are having a lot of laughs at each other's expense, but that is one of the benefits of working with some of the best people around!
Here is our Favourite Gag for 2011 - share yours in the comments, and have a great weekend!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
RouteSmart software optimizes waste collection routes
In order to better manage the routing challenges faced by its growing fleet of waste collection vehicles, the branch has begun using a new planning software calledRouteSmart.
The route-optimizing tool works with the existing Geographical Information System (GIS) data being used to map waste collection.
“This tool will help distribute the workload evenly among the trucks,” said Engineering Technologist Mark Demers. “We’re taking into account the number of stops and the distance traveled when we sequence the routes.”
RouteSmartcan map out the most efficient travel routes for streets and pickup stops, thereby minimizing travel time and increasing fuel savings.
The software has been tested in a limited number of collection beats by staff in order to calibrate its performance and set benchmarks.
“We’re going out there and trying to identify all the possible barriers to the most efficient routes,” said Collector Carl LeFabvre. “For example, on some streets or alleys we can only go one way, or there may be a telephone pole blocking access.”
The collectors feedback and the gathered software data is now being tested to enhance the efficiency of the projected routes.
Collectors will soon be able to use the newRouteSmart maps to navigate collection routes more efficiently, saving time and money.
We'll be back Friday with something fun.
Monday, March 28, 2011
The Non-Residential Collection Service officially kicked off in 2010.
The Branch has a four-year plan to influence the diversion of nonresidential waste from landfills. “We want to establish a financially sustainable influencing presence in the collection of waste and recyclables from the commercial sector” said Non-Residential Collection Supervisor Katrina Donner.
Since the service began last June, the focus has been on creating awareness and actively promoting the program to businesses and institutions.
Through the efforts of the Non-Residential Collection staff, Edmonton's commercial sector is becoming increasingly interested in participating in our waste management programs.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
March 23, 2011
ATCO Gas, Canada Post and the City of Edmonton are asking Edmontonians to stay vigilant and continue to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and other areas around their property this spring.
Spring weather can cause snow to melt and run onto sidewalks during the day, only to freeze again at night. These freeze-thaw cycles create slippery conditions for everyone, especially people that provide valuable services to homeowners – like meter readers, waste collectors and mail carriers.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
It has won many "People's Choice" awards and should be brilliant! To show you are a MC/R Grad, pin something to your coat that you can take to the Reuse Centre!
If you prefer to stay home, check out this post on Greg's blog about the film "The Garbage Warrior". I think it showed at Reel Waste a few years ago, and now you can watch it on line.
See you at the movies!