Plastic out and paper in

Changes are coming to Prince Albert’s yard waste collection policy as the city tries to spend less money and become more environmentally friendly.

Starting on July 1, the city will stop collecting plastic bags for yard waste collection and instead, only accept compostable yard waste paper bags and securely tied bundles of branches.

Mohammad Kraishan, Operations Manager for the City of Prince Albert, said the change will save roughly $50,000 due to the elimination of the expensive debagging process.

“If we continue to collect the yard waste in plastic bags, then we will have to debag it in order to make the final compost product usable,” he explained. “If we were to debag it, that ($50,000) would be the cost.”

Plastic bags carrying yard waste caused problems because they didn’t degrade properly, meaning any compost would still contain a small element of plastic. That plastic makes the compost useless for other purposes, such as landfill cover at the city dump.

“It’s really hard to get rid of all the plastic in the compost,” Kraishan said.

Prince Albert isn’t the first city to stop collecting plastic bags. Regina, Windsor, Hamilton and Toronto are just two of the cities that made the switch, and so far the results have been good.

For the rest of this story, please see the June 1 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.