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Public Service Announcement: Town to Ban Bags in Compost Carts

Post Date:03/24/2020 10:45 AM

Public Service Announcement

At their March 9, 2020 meeting, the Town of Taber Council passed the following resolution:

MOVED by Councillor Garner that starting November 1, 2020, no plastic, compostable or biodegradable bags are to be put into compost bins within the Town of Taber.

Since the implementation of our 3-cart system in April 2016, the Town of Taber has allowed residents to use BPI certified compostable bags in their kitchen catchers and compost carts. Due to challenges this is presenting at the compost facility, the use of plastic compostable bags is being phased out. As such, please note as of November 1, 2020, compost will have to be put out for collection BPI compostable bag free. 

The Town of Taber wants to note that this is NOT a town-wide plastic bag ban. This ban is for BPI certified compostable bags sold specifically for compost carts only. Residents can still use paper bags or line the bottoms of their carts with pizza boxes, newspaper, or paper towel if they so desire.

The BPI compostable bags are not breaking down as quickly as the Town and our compost contractor GFL would like. Because the bags do not break down quickly, they end up being picked up by high winds and littering neighboring properties, including farmland. If the bags are untouched by the wind, they break down so slowly compared to other compostable materials that debris remains within the finished compost.
Council has therefore chosen to ban all plastic BPI certified compostable bags from kitchen catchers and compost carts within the Town of Taber in the interest of protecting the surrounding area from litter and to promote best composting practices within our community. This is Council’s next step in leading environmental practices.

“Our citizens have been extremely supportive of our composting system since it was implemented, affording our waste management system financial savings and multiple awards,” said Mayor Prokop, “Given how well our citizens initially adjusted to our 3-cart system and how invested they have been since, Council has no doubt our citizens will support us in this next phase of environmental stewardship. This will continue to allow us to have a beneficial waste collection partnership for area residents and businesses.”

“GFL Environmental is proud of the partnership with the Town of Taber. Taber’s environmental protection and sustainability achievements are world class,” said Don Francis, Director of Organic Solutions for GFL Environmental Inc., “We are privileged to provide the recycling of community organics into reusable nutrients and as such support the decision to remove all bags from the green cart program. This adjustment will eliminate any potential for litter escaping into the Town and M.D. as well as accelerating our composting process.”

More information and tips for the public will be available in the coming months as the November 1, 2020 ban approaches, but the public is encouraged to stop using the BPI certified bags as of now if they wish.

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