The Town of Altona has officially launched its new curbside compost pickup.
The program will allow residents to dispose of compostable yard waste and kitchen waste all year long.
Altona Community Action Network, also known as ACAN, advocated for the project and have provided input for the program.
"This is a great moment and it's a big change and we're so proud to be working alongside a really fresh town council that seems ready to tackle some big issues," says Connie Hoeppner-Mueller, a spokesperson with ACAN. "We're thrilled to see this service offered to the citizens of Altona so that we can all make a difference."
Hoeppner-Mueller is confident homeowners will jump on board with the program.
ACAN intends to launch an education and awareness campaign in the coming months to help residents discern which materials are compostable, both in their yards and homes.
Pick up will be weekly, as usual, starting on April 15 until early November, after which pick up will be monthly during the winter.
A green outdoor bin for yard waste and a small kitchen pail for collecting food scraps will be rolled out to every home later this year.
Local businesses Border Redi Mix Inc, Derksen Trucking Ltd. and Access Credit Union provided financial assistance in purchasing the compost bins and pails.
Town councillor Jordan Siemens says a year-round compost program has a number of environmental benefits and will help prolong the life of the local landfill.
"We just went through a million dollar expansion on our landfill and it's projected to have about a 20-year life expectancy. We know from reports and studies in our local area that roughly 60 percent of what's going to the landfill could be composted. So, extending the life of the landfill would be a huge saving down the road and enable us to invest in other areas of our community."
A news release issued by the town says composting organic matter reduces the production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, created when that material rots without oxygen at the landfill. It also points out that keeping organics separate from other waste allows it to be used again as a nutrient-rich fertilizer for fields and gardens.
ACAN is organizing a waste reduction workshop as part of Earth Day celebrations on April 25 where information on the expanded compost services will be provided along with some recycling tips.
Representatives from Penner Waste will also be on hand at the Altona Curling Club from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. to answer any questions related to composting.