Unconventional Panel weighs in on green cart composting program

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City of Calgary has lots of green (carts) to get rid of

The City of Calgary announced last week it will begin rolling out its green cart composting program in June.

Like many Calgarians, the people on this week's Unconventional Panel have mixed feelings about the new program.

Shelley Youngblut, general director at Wordfest, Ravin Moorthy, a Calgary-based engineer, and Mike Morrison, the man behind MikesBloggityBlog, spoke to the Calgary Eyeopener Wednesday.

"I understand the environmental benefits of it, I'm not disputing that," said Moorthy. "I think if you're going to be a person that wants to use a green bin, you probably have a compost already in your backyard."

Moorthy said he currently puts vegetable waste down his garburator, leaving him unsure what will go into his green bin.

Youngblut said she's "philosophically in favour" of composting, but worries a new green cart could turn into more "lawn art," which is what happened to a backyard composter she got more than a decade ago.

But Morrison said he's excited for the new program.

Morrison, the panel's East Coast expat, said people in Halifax have been composting through a city program for 20 years.

"Calgary is just catching up. And [composting] is not going anywhere, it's not a trend," he said.  

Some panelists also expressed concerns about the size of the new cart, and if they will attract animals — such as raccoons.

"I know I will grow to love my green cart. One of my problems is practical. I have a very, very narrow alleyway," Youngblut said.

Morrison said he has no alley, so his new green bin will sit in front of his house, along with a black bin for garbage and blue bin for recycling.

"Do I love having a third bin? No, but it's life. That's what life is in 2017. There's bigger problems," he said.  

The new bins will be rolling out across the city this summer, starting with houses in the southwest at the beginning of June. Residents in the southwest will see their first collection in mid-July, followed by residents in the northwest in mid-August, northeast in early September and southeast in early October.

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With files from the Calgary Eyeopener