New sorting stations a colourful addition to Edmonton’s waste diversion story

New sorting stations are coming to many public spaces in Edmonton, allowing people to separate garbage, food scraps and recycling just like they do at home. 

“Whether you’re picnicking at Rundle Park, enjoying a meal at an attraction or hosting a birthday party at a recreation centre, you’ll be able to properly sort and reduce the waste going to a landfill,” said Kory deGroot, Project Coordinator, Corporate Waste Transformation at the City of Edmonton. 

Sorting waste is crucial because food waste and organics can be transformed into compost, but not if they are tossed into the landfill with other garbage. Not only do food scraps take up valuable space in the landfill, they also generate greenhouse gas emissions.   

Waste diversion skills can now be used away from the home, too.

Accessible for all

What goes where is easy to sort out. 

By colour. The black compartment is for garbage, green for food scraps and blue for recycling. 

By label. Each compartment has the printed word for its waste stream. 

By symbol. Printed on each compartment is an icon for the waste steam and representations of suitable items. 

“All these elements work together to make sorting easy for people adapting to the new system,” said Jenny Hong, Director of Corporate Waste Transformation. 

Waste Strategy

The sorting stations come on the heels of the Edmonton Cart Rollout, which has been underway in Edmonton since March. 

On average, 10,000 carts—including a separate cart and a kitchen pail for food scraps—are being delivered each week through the end of August to approximately 250,000 homes in Edmonton. 

“Each person’s decision to separate food from other garbage and recycling, whether in their homes or in public, helps with Edmonton’s 25-year Waste Strategy,” said Hong. 

The City has been leading by example. Food scraps bins have been added in work areas and behind-the-scenes places in City workplaces, parks, rec centres and other attractions. 

Kapty Welding team installs a sorting station.

Local expertise

The sorting stations are produced locally by Kapty Welding. That includes the design, prototyping and refining, and locally sourcing the metal, laser cutting and powder coating. 

“A few years ago, we were considering shutting down due to the lack of oilfield work,” said founder Steve Kapty.

“We started making sign brackets, and promoted our services to [non-oil and gas clients],” said Kapty.  “I am now very optimistic that as the pandemic reduces, opportunities should increase.”

In all, 31 sorting stations have been installed at 17 locations across Edmonton.

Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool

Thanks for getting on board

The sorting stations will play an important part in helping the City reach its goal of diverting 90 percent of waste from our landfills.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sorting. 

Editor’s note: the pic at the top of the post shows a new sorting station installed at Alfred H. Savage Centre at Whitemud Park in Edmonton. Learn more about the City of Edmonton’s Economic Action Plan, 10-year roadmap to build a vibrant, inclusive and sustainable community.