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Town of Olds First in Line for ARMA’s new Pilot Project

The Town of Olds has always engaged in the most environmentally progressive initiatives for its residents, which is why council was quick to act when the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) rolled out its curbside recycling roundup pilot program.

Due to the overwhelming response by our community, the Curbside Recycling event this week is adding pickup days! If you have left your items out on the scheduled day and they have not been picked up, please leave them out and our drivers will get to them. If they haven’t been picked up by Friday morning, please call the town office and let them know. Thank you for your support of our Recycling Event!

“Running during the week of July 13 is a recycling program that involves door-to-door pickup of used electronics, motor oil, used oil filters, and oil containers; old paint cans, empty paint cans, aerosol paint cans;  and tires,” says Scott Chant, Director of Operations. “We were one of the first in Alberta to respond to the program, and although other municipalities have now joined, Olds will be the first to have the curbside pickup take place.”

The ARMA has partnered with a private company that will visit municipalities in the province to help residents safely dispose of the items. The waste collection will continue with their regularly scheduled Blue Bin pickup that week, but this extra Curbside Recycling Event will pick up on the following days:
Monday, July 13
Areas with Monday and Tuesday scheduled Blue Bin collection
• Tuesday, July 14
Areas with Wednesday and Thursday scheduled Blue Bin collection
• Friday, July 17
Areas with Friday scheduled Blue Bin collection

 Should a resident miss placing the items out on their day, they can call the town office and arrange to have the items picked up on Friday, when the company will do a final cross-town sweep.

“The program is not costing the citizens anything extra. The ARMA pays for the program and has also provided a grant for advertising,” says Scott. “Every homeowner can quickly and safety dispose of the items mentioned without seeing an increase on their utility bill.”

Eco-friendly initiatives have been prevalent across the province for many years, but the positive effects on the natural world seen during the recent pandemic-induced shutdown have spurred many to want to do even better for the environment. Programs like this make it easy for concerned citizens to put their earth-friendly ways into practice – and to make a big difference. Tires, for example, can take nearly a century to decompose. Motor oil is toxic. It can harm aquatic wildlife, contaminate waterways, and even reduce the effectiveness of the wastewater treatment process if it gets into a storm drain. Paint, one of the items most homeowners have lying around due to touch ups, DIY renovations, or room refreshes, is particularly harmful to the environment. Even though the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in paint are regulated (and some paints are VOC-free), each can of paint contains a cocktail of chemicals that can harm plant, human, and animal life. These chemicals can include (but are not limited to: latex, mineral oil, xylene, acetone, toluene, and ethanol.

The program goes beyond benefiting the environment. It is also designed to help stimulate Alberta’s economy. Over two years, ARMA will use reserve funds ($43 million) to recycle up to 24,000 tonnes of electronics that were not previously part of its standard recycling program. The pilot project, if successful, could see $30 million flow into Alberta’s economy each year, and provide an additional 360 full-time jobs.  With the co-operation of Alberta’s municipalities, ARMA is confident this project will succeed.

“Municipalities play an important role in enabling and supporting recycling programs across Alberta,” said Al Kemmere, President, Rural Municipalities of Alberta, in a recent press release. “The pilot project will enable Albertans to continue to be good environmental stewards and is responsive to ongoing requests to effectively recycle more products. Municipalities look forward to playing a continued role in this pilot project and the long-term objective to permanently expand our electronics recycle program.”

The Town of Olds is pleased to be the first in Alberta that will experience collections under the pilot program, and looks forward to contributing to a cleaner, greener town for residents and visitors alike. Learn more about the upcoming Recycle Roundup on the Town of Old’s website.