Cochrane, AB

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Why is the Town launching an organics collection program?

Divertible organic waste, including food waste, yard waste, food soiled paper, and pet waste comprises over 65% of our waste and remains one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The Town of Cochrane has a goal of 80% waste diversion by 2020. Removing organics from our garbage will help do that. Council approved the Zero-Waste Framework in 2012 which outlines ways to reach those goals. Find out how at cochrane.ca/ZeroWaste. The Town is required by the City of Calgary to implement organic collection in order to continue using City of Calgary landfills. All homes that currently receive Town waste and recycling collection will also get organics collection starting in April 2017.

How do I know if my home will get organics collection?

All homes that currently receive Town waste and recycling collection will also get organics collection starting in April 2017.

What happens to my organics after they’re collected?

All the material collected in green carts is used to make compost, a valuable material for helping grow plants, enhance Town parks and help nearby family farms and other agriculture operations. It takes about one year to turn organics into compost. We’ll be able to provide some compost for your garden at home!

What organic material is accepted?

Food and food scraps: if you can eat it, you can toss it in your green cart! • Food-soiled paper: any paper goods that touched food! • Natural fibers like nail clippings, toothpicks, wooden chopsticks, cotton balls and lint. • Pet products like kitty litter, pet fur, feathers and pet waste • Plant material Check cochrane.ca/Organics for the full list.

What’s the easiest way to get food scraps from my kitchen to my green bin?

It’s easy to collect food scraps in the kitchen for your green cart — just use the kitchen catcher provided or any other reusable container like a coffee can or plastic food storage container. When it’s full, dump into your cart!

What's the best way to use my kitchen catcher?

Using your kitchen catcher is easy: 1. Line your kitchen catcher with paper or a compostable bag. 2. Keep your kitchen catcher in a convenient location in your kitchen, such as on your countertop or under the sink. 2. While cooking, put food scraps from your prep directly in your kitchen catcher. 3. While cleaning up, scrape leftovers and food scraps directly in your kitchen catcher. 4. Empty the kitchen catcher into your green cart before you set out your cart for collection.

Can I use a bag in my kitchen catcher?

Yes, you can use a bag in your kitchen catcher — it makes it easier to move your organics to your green cart and can help keep your kitchen catcher clean. Make sure you use the right kind of bag: paper or certified compostable ONLY. Do not use plastic or so-called biodegradable bags. Look for logos that indicate “certified compostable.”

What if my kitchen catcher starts to smell?

There are a few ways you can prevent smells: • Sprinkle in some baking soda • Rinse it out with vinegar • Wash it in your dishwasher • Line with a single piece of newspaper/cardboard • Wrap food scraps in a paper towel, newspaper, paper bag or box. In summer, you can also keep material frozen until organics collection day

Got any tips for using my green cart?

• Line the bottom and sides of your organics cart with cardboard or newspaper. After 30 cm (12”) of wet organics (food waste, leaves), add some dry organics (crumpled newspaper, pizza boxes) then alternate layers between wet waste and dry waste. This prevents odour and reduces the possibility of organics freezing to the cart when the temperature drops. • Avoid packing contents of the cart down. Organic materials may become stuck in the cart and the truck may not be able to fully empty it. • Wrap wet or smelly organics in boxes from cereal or crackers, paper bags or newspaper to help prevent them from freezing to the cart.

What if my green cart starts to smell?

There are a few ways you can prevent smells: • Sprinkle in some baking soda or powdered detergent (without bleach) • Swish some vinegar in the bottom • Line with a single piece of newspaper/cardboard • Rinse the cart regularly during summer months with a water/vinegar mix • Store in a cool place out of the sun • Wrap food scraps in a paper towel, newspaper, paper bag or box. In summer, you can also keep material frozen until organics collection day • Grass: leave it on the lawn or cut it just a day or two before organics collection day • Put your green cart out on its proper collection day even if you only have a small amount

Is there any material NOT accepted in my green cart?

Your green cart will NOT be emptied if it contains ANY of these materials: aluminum, animal carcasses, bricks or stones, ceramics, cigarette butts/ashes, clothing, diapers, dirt or topsoil, garbage, glass, glossy paper, hazardous waste, liquids, lumber, medical waste, metal, plastic bags or containers, plastic straws, plastic wine corks, styrofoam or tree stumps.

I already use a backyard composter. Can I still use it?

Yes, you can! Backyard composting is a great way to reduce waste. We encourage you to continue, however, it is important to know that your green cart takes many materials that cannot be handled by the typical backyard composter: cheese and dairy products; fish; grease; meat products and bones; oily, fatty foods; pet waste; sauces and spreads; soiled paper; paper napkins, plates and cups; soiled pizza boxes. These materials will not compost properly in a backyard pile and may even attract unwanted pests.

Can I dispose of my organic waste in my in-sink garbage disposal instead of using the cart?

Using an in-sink garbage disposal unit puts more solids into the sanitary pipes, which leads to increased clogs and blockages. This means more service calls and added costs for the Town and homeowners. Using your organics cart ensures the material is used to make compost.

What kind of bags should I use for pet waste?

Cochrane's organics collection program accepts pet waste as long as it is in compostable bags. Most of the pet shops in Cochrane carry white earth rated poop bags marked "Certified ASTM D6400" but do not have the "certified compostable" logo. After checking with the Town's compost facility, they have told us these bags are approved for use at their facility. Local pet suppliers are aware that these are the only poop bags approved for Cochrane's program, in addition to other "certified compostable" (with logo) bags.