Garbage Safety

Before starting the Master Composter Recycler program, I didn’t have a clue about what goes where. So everything went into the garbage bag including household hazardous waste like oven cleaners, paints, batteries, light bulbs etc.,  which are supposed to be taken to an Eco station.

Eco stations also accept things like computer equipment, car parts, mattresses, sofas and other household appliances. If you are not sure about whether the Eco Station will take your furniture items, you can go directly to the Edmonton Waste Management Centre (EWMC). Just remember that you pay to leave your garbage at EWMC. It takes machinery, energy and manpower to process these things properly.

There are reasons why lots of stuff go to Eco Stations instead of being picked up with your garbage collection; one of the most important one is making sure it’s safe for collectors. In Edmonton, they pick  up between 14,000 to 22,000 kg of waste every work day. Here are a few things residents can do to help make the collections safe.

Keep it light.  -Each bag of your garbage or recycling should weigh ess than 20kg. If you can’t carry one bag with one hand then split it.  -Bundles of tree trimmings should be bundled together securely

Use the right garbage can  -If your garbage can is too large it could cause injuries. It must be under 100 litres in volume.

Package sharp objects  -Things like broken mirrors or nails should be packaged together in a cardboard box and label “Sharps”

Don’t Overfill  -Your garbage should easily come out of the can/bin.

There are so many dos and don’ts but these few are quite easy to remember. I also found out that you can buddy up with your neighbour to reduce the number of stops for collectors. And while Rodney (our volunteer coordinator) was talking about buddying up, I was having all kinds of different scenarios happening in my imagination. One of them was a situation where you have a paranoid neighbour who sees you collecting their garbage bags and putting them in front your house with your garbage.

Then they start running after you, asking what you are doing with their garbage…and then it causes an uncomfortable garbage scenario…ha…ha.   So I think it’s best to talk to your neighbour and say “hey, did you know that neighbours can buddy up for garbage collection?” Then you explain that it’s quite a great idea for a number of households to put all their garbage bags in one place to reduce stops for the collection truck.

I know that sometimes the truck is collecting just when you’re getting out of the driveway on your way to work.  If you’re behind it and it’s stopping in front of every house along that block and there are cars parked on the side; you can’t pass…then you will definitely be late for work. It has happened to me more than once. This is a situation that could be avoided if you buddy up your garbage bags! Am sure your garbage bags like having buddies too. Anyways, I hope you keep garbage collection safe for those who collect it for us.