Businesses in Lethbridge are preparing for a mandatory recycling program coming in July.

This system will deal with paper, cardboard and wood materials for now, which make up around 20 per cent of business waste in the town.

With two-thirds of city waste coming from businesses, city officials say it’s a powerful first step to reducing the quantity of garbage going into the landfill.

“There’s a transparent need when two-thirds of the waste is coming from the companies that, alongside programs just like the latest curbside program, we’d like businesses to do their part to make the difference,” said Alex Singbeil, city waste reduction consultant. 

Town shall be granting a 90-day grace period when this system comes into effect in July, but with potential fines for recyclable materials found mixed into trash, local businesses have some concerns and plenty of questions.

“The massive concern is certainly the initial cost,” said Movie Mill general manager Josh Mudryk. 

One other concern is with the general public dumping their trash into large outdoor dumpsters, and whether the burden of those fines will fall on businesses.

“You’ll see things get deposited that.. well, I can inform you this, we’re not throwing away mattresses and toilets,” Mudryk added. 

“But they find their way into our garbages.”

Many businesses in attendance at Thursday’s info session said that they had already been sorting recycling for a while.

“We feel we’ve form of got the jump already,” said DMT mechanical supervisor Keith Boschee. “But I feel sorry for a number of the businesses downtown. They don’t have the room to recycle properly, and in a number of the conversations on the meeting today, that was a priority.”

Construction corporations and organizations like BILD see the shift as a chance to launch their very own initiative.

“Considered one of the things they’ve identified is lumber as considered one of those recyclable materials that could be a large a part of what’s going into our landfill,” said Bridget Mearns, BILD Lethbridge executive officer. 

“We as an association have taken that responsibility very seriously and we have now designed a latest environmental policy and program moving forward that we’ll be rolling out and releasing shortly.”

Town’s next step shall be to check out organics and composting, which is anticipated to return into play in 2021.


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