Recycling is great. I’m a huge fan of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” programs. But sometimes a good idea is implemented poorly or incompletely.
For example, our “Blue Cart” program (soon to be the Blue, Black and Green cart program) has a fixed cost per month, which is slowly going up over time:
The problem is that not everyone fills up a cart every week or two weeks. There are many people in Calgary that are single or who otherwise generate very little garbage and recycling due to their lifestyle. They don’t need or want weekly pickup, and the cost associated with it is enough to make a dent in their monthly budget. I would like to see a new plan where infrequent users can pay a smaller fee and only get pickup once per month. For some people just starting out in life, this can make a measurable difference in their finances.
Likewise, there are people with large families who need more frequent pickup or who generate more of a specific kind of waste and need an adjusted approach.
I propose a more flexible system where people are automatically enrolled in the regular service (which was well-researched and is suitable for most people) but have the option of opting into a low or high frequency program that better meets their needs. This would have to take into account the effort needed by city crews, of course. I think we can come up with a system that is simple enough to keep costs low and flexible enough to serve the people it’s meant to serve.