Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Recycling Depots: No place for illegal dumping

They are often forgotten... probably because they are just so efficient.

Recycling Depots are a simple service that helps divert waste from landfill. Sadly, there are some troubles at our depots.

Simple and easy to use
There are 20 Recycling Depots across Edmonton. They are convenient locales to drop off paper and cardboard, plastic containers, aluminum cans, and glass bottles for recycling.

As the General Supervisor for Waste Drop-Off Services, Chris Fowler mentions that "Recycling depots provide an important service to the communities because residents and small businesses can drop their recyclable items 24 hours a day."

But Recycling Depots are not for dumping garbage. That's just plain illegal.

"We want to be able to trust people to use them properly and respect the bylaws so that we can maintain this convenient access," says Chris. "Recycling Depots are not designed to accept large items or household hazardous waste which can pose a risk for the staff and citizens who come in contact with it."
A sad example of illegal dumping at a Recycling Depot

Quick Facts

  • Materials collected (2012): 7,094 tonnes
  • Illegal materials (2013 thru July): 266 tonnes
  • Common types of illegal dumping:
    • reno materials
    • fridges & stoves
    • TVs & monitors
    • bikes
    • sofas & mattresses
Chris' staff visit each Recycling Depot on a regular basis. They tidy the site, ensure the right materials are in each bin, and remove items that should not be there. But dumping is a simple problem with a simple solution: don't.

The fine for illegal dumping is $250.

Items that cannot be sorted at a Recycling Depot should be taken to an Eco Station, a Big Bin Event, or the Edmonton Waste Management Centre. Visit for locations.

We need your help

Waste Management Services is working to reduce illegal dumping at Recycling Depots. The City will monitor depots and enforce bylaws.
If you see someone dumping at a Recycling Depot, please call 311 with details. If possible, note the date, time, location, and license plate of the vehicle.

Key Points

  • It is illegal to leave garbage, non-recyclable materials, and large items at Recycling Depots.
  • Recycling Depots are monitored for illegal dumping and offenders could receive a fine of $250.
  • The City has 20 Recycling Depots where residents and small businesses can take recyclable items such as: paper, shredded paper, boxes, cardboard, all recyclable containers and cans, plastic bags, and used cotton and denim.
  • Recycling Depots DO NOT accept furniture, tires, home renovation materials, mattresses, appliances, fridges and household hazardous waste.
  • Take these item to an Eco Station, the Edmonton Waste Management Centre or a Big Bin Event.
  • Residents and small businesses can drop off recyclable items 24-hours-a-day at Recycling Depots.
  • To report illegal dumping, call 311 with the details.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Edmonton and Ukrainian Province work on sustainable solutions to waste management

News from City of Edmonton's Waste Management Services

Edmonton's expertise in municipal waste management could soon benefit the western Ukrainian province of Ivano-Frankivsk.

Governor Mykhaylo Vyshayvanyuk, of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, and Mayor Stephen Mandel, City of Edmonton, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on August 14, 2013 for developing environmentally sustainable waste management in the Ukraine province.

click here to learn more

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The most common recycling question of all...

Public schools across Edmonton start recycling, this fall. Just like at home.

One of our most frequent questions is pizza boxes.
Well, here's the answer... and answers to more common questions about recycling. This will help anyone use a Blue Bag or Blue Bin. Keep the message positive and keep folks recycling!

Are pizza boxes recyclable?

Yes. If your pizza box has a few spots of grease, it’s no problem. But please put the sheet that the pizza sits on in the garbage.

Are chip bags and candy wrappers recyclable?

No. They should be put in the garbage.

Are all plastic containers recyclable?

Like plastic bags, there are many types of plastic containers. Some are recyclable and some are not. As long as they are clean, dry, larger than the palm of your hand and smaller than a basketball, then they are OK to go in the recycling bin. They will be sorted out at the recycling plant. The ones that do not get recycled will be converted to methanol or ethanol so there is no waste.

Are disposable cups recyclable?

Some are, but because there is such a wide variety it’s difficult to communicate to all residents which ones are and which ones aren’t. To simplify matters we ask that all of them be put in the garbage. They will be converted into compost or ethanol.

Isn’t shredded paper recyclable?

Technically, shredded paper is recyclable. However, because it’s fluffy like confetti it jams moving parts at the recycling plant and causes plant shutdowns. Please put it in the garbage. It will be composted.

What do I do with caps and lids?

Put caps and lids in the garbage.

Do I need to remove labels?

No. Labels are OK on all containers.

Isn’t Styrofoam recyclable?

Yes, Styrofoam is recyclable but due to the extreme lightness for its volume it’s difficult to recycle economically. The good news is that it won’t be wasted if it’s put in the garbage in Edmonton. Together with other non-recyclable or non-compostable waste, it will be converted
into methanol or ethanol.

Are zip lock bags and similar plastic sandwich bags recyclable?

There are almost countless different types of plastic bags. Some are recyclable and some are not. You can put any plastic bag into your recycling bin as long as it is clean and dry. They will be sorted out at the recycling plant. The ones that do not get recycled will be converted to methanol or ethanol so there is no waste.

How clean do containers need to be?

Well rinsed is sufficient. A small amount of residue is OK but anything more than that is unacceptable. If it’s difficult to get a certain container clean – peanut butter can be challenging – it’s alright to put it into the garbage. It will be converted into methanol or ethanol.

For More Info

Phone  311