Town Council approved a motion at the November 26 meeting that extended the deadline to 2020 for the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector to phase-in a three-stream waste diversion program.

"Council appreciates that introducing recycling and organic collection into businesses’ waste collection systems has many challenges and this extended deadline will provide the extra time they need to develop a strategy and implement necessary changes," said Mayor Bill Robertson.

The original ICI plan had required all businesses and organizations, including schools, health facilities and all private sector companies, to add mixed recycling and organics into their waste collection by the end of 2018. However, many businesses expressed numerous challenges in successfully implementing the program within these timelines including space limitations for multiple bins, cost increases and finding contractors to provide organics collection.

"Extending the deadline will allow time for the markets to be better understood and, if required, an Okotoks solution developed that balances waste diversion and costs," said CAO Elaine Vincent.

Requiring the ICI sector to implement a three-stream waste diversion plan is a key priority in the Town’s Sustainability Plan and an important factor in achieving the target of 80% community waste diversion by 2020. Currently, the ICI sector produces up to 65 per cent of all waste in Okotoks.

The Waste Services team will be contacting businesses and organizations directly and hosting several information sessions in the coming months to answer questions and determine the best methods for supporting local businesses and organizations.

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