Cochrane is committed to environmental leadership in the community and has a sustainability plan to guide other work and policies.
Pesticide and herbicide application best practices
The Town of Cochrane is required to follow provincial legislation and restrict the impact of weeds within municipal boundaries. The legislation allows the Town some latitude in making decisions on how to deal with weeds.
In general, the Town of Cochrane prefers an integrated pest management strategy which encourages healthy growth of native plants and discourages growth or spread of noxious or prohibited noxious species. The goal is to sustain, preserve and enhance the esthetic beauty and heritage features of our natural and developed park environment. More information.
The Town of Cochrane is committed to helping residents and businesses reduce their environmental impact. The Cochrane Eco Centre accepts a wide range of materials for recycling. More information.
Residential Waste Collection limit
The limit on curbside residential waste collection in Cochrane promotes waste reduction and recycling and gives the Town of Cochrane the ability to control waste disposal costs. The limit on curbside residential waste collection is one 120 litre waste cart per household per week. More information.
On December 10, 2007, Town Council accepted the Partners for Climate Protection Milestones 1, 2 & 3 final report in principle and directed Administration to bring forward a plan for implementation of the recommendations, based on budget and staff resources.
Read the full report: Town of Cochrane’s Partners for Climate Protection Energy Consumption Reduction Plan for Municipal Operations and the Community (PDF)
Since then, many town buildings have had lights with sensors installed, which turn the lights off when no one is in the room. The Cochrane RancheHouse uses dimable LED technology (new to the North American market) in the Hall of Vision. We were able to double the number of fixtures, triple the amount of light and reduce our electrical consumption by 90% in this well-used room.
A grid-tied solar photovoltaic system was installed on the Big Hill Leisure Pool in December 2007. The seven panels generate just under 1,200 watts of power. Read the news coverage in the Cochrane Eagle: Pool taps into Sun's Power
People have been interested in harnessing wind power to generate energy for a very long time. In Alberta, the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) has authority for wind energy facility applications and an AUC decision prevails over municipal bylaws and energy policies.
Read the AUC’s Public Involvement in Needs or Facilities Applications brochure to learn more about the AUC’s application and public consultation process for utility facilities including wind.
NEW: Water conservation rebates
Find out about the new rebates the Town of Cochrane is offering to encourage you to save even more water, inside and out (conditions apply).
Low-flow Fixture Building Code
Three-tier water rate
Since June 1, 2006, the Town of Cochrane has required that all new builds, renovations, or basement development projects have only dual flush toilets installed. The 2009 Water Utility Bylaw (PDF) stipulates dual flush toilets only.
Cochrane's three-tier water rate ensures that the more water you consume, the more you pay for your total consumption:
If you use 0 to 25 cubic meters, you pay $1.06/cubic meter
26-60 cubic meters = $1.41/cubic meter
over 60 cubic meters = $2.10/cubic meter
Read the full bylaw (PDF).
The water conservation bylaw outlines time-of-day watering rules from May until October. Since the bylaw was approved in 2008, Cochranites have reduced their average water consumption approximately 15%.
Unless otherwise indicated, Level One watering restrictions are in effect May to October:
YOU MAY WATER OUTSIDE ONLY 5 - 10 am OR 7 pm - 1 am
The Town has also partnered with ExactET on a local weather station that can send information to irrigation systems so that they only use the water your soil really needs. We are also working with Parks to pilot irrigation systems controlled by this weather station.
As an organization, the Town has a policy in place to look for ways to reduce water consumption in the Town operations as well as in the community. We continually research new initiatives to consider for water conservation.
Protecting local wetlands
The Town works with other levels of government, residents and non-profit groups in a variety of conservation initiatives. The Cochrane Sustainability Plan contains 13 pathways that provide direction to a sustainable future. Three of the pathways relate directly to the Town's efforts:
We are responsible citizens of the planet:
• We treat water as a precious resource.
• We use energy responsibly and innovatively.
• We contribute to the solution on climate change.
Watershed Management Plans
Wetlands and riparian areas are under increasing development pressures, not only in Cochrane but across Alberta. As water and watershed management becomes more important during this period of climate change, with increasing demand for potable water, wetland and riparian area management will also become more important.
Riverheights Wetland Inventory Project
The River Heights Wetland Classification and Riparian Health Inventory Project (PDF) report was presented in February 2010. For an overview, read the Executive Summary (PDF).
Riverheights Wetland Inventory (PDF) was presented at a public information session in September 2009. It gives an overview of wetlands in the area, and outlines preliminary findings.
Wetland and Riparian Habitat Conservation Plan
The Wetland and Riparian Habitat Conservation Plan (PDF) was presented in June 2008. It was written in response to The Town of Cochrane Strategic Plan, item 1.2: The Town will investigate, monitor and implement environmental standards / codes of practice for wetland and watershed management.
Wetlands 101 (PDF) is an overview of wetlands and their benefits.
Look for local weather information at the Cochrane weather station, provided by ExactET.