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Municipal District of Bonnyville Waste Management Supervisor Brad Ollen spends a lot of time at school. And not just to learn – but to teach.
Over the school year, Ollen does in-class presentations about waste in the Bonnyville region, and what we can do to lessen our impact on the environment.
At the end of January, as part of a program with the Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA), Ollen spoke with Rachelle Balla’s Grade 5 students at École des Beaux-Lac in Bonnyville.
The class was awarded $1,000 under the Alberta Government’s Climate Environmental Student Action Challenge, and with that money, has undertaken two projects – measuring air quality at the school with LICA and measuring the amount of recycling the school produces – which is where Ollen comes in.
As Ollen explained to the students, every person living in the M.D., Town of Bonnyville and Cold Lake produces just over 1,700 lbs. of waste a year (not including recycling), students’ jaws dropped. When they heard it costs almost $2 million a year to haul some of that waste to a Class 2 landfill in Thorhild, they were even more surprised.
Ollen said the amount of waste being landfilled could be reduced as long as we recycle.
“It starts at home,” he said. “It starts with you – the kids.”
Ollen went on to explain what can and cannot be recycled – information that can be found on the recycling bins located at bin sites around the M.D. Click here for a link to the current bin site map to see where your closest recycling bins are located.
A second part of the teaching process is taking the students to an M.D. landfill, where Ollen shows them where waste goes, and the recycling areas that are set up there.
The Ardmore landfill not only houses Class 3 waste (furniture, materials from building renos/demos, etc), but also where the Class 2 waste (household waste) is stored until it is transferred, the metal recycling pile, electronics recycling area, and also the Freecycle shed, where people can leave items that may still be of some use to someone else.
If you have questions about the M.D.’s waste and recycling program, please call 780-826-3951 or follow the M.D.’s Facebook page for the regular #WasteWednesday feature.