Edmonton Minute: Anaerobic Digester, Bridge Delay, and Single Use Items
Edmonton Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Edmonton politics
This Week In Edmonton:
There will be a meeting of City Council on Monday at 9:30 am. On the agenda are reports pertaining to transit services, recreational facility naming, and affordable housing, among others. There will be an Agenda Review Committee meeting at 9:00 am on Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, there will be a City Council Public Hearing at 1:30 pm. Several land use amendments and zoning bylaws are on the agenda, but the last item is the one to watch. A single-use items bylaw has already passed first reading and Council is seeking public input before moving on to second and third reading. The new bylaw bans plastic bags and will also force restaurant and food service establishments to create a policy that allows customers to bring their own reusable cups. Styrofoam will be banned, and single-use cutlery, straws, and other food service items will only be provided upon customer request. If you don’t have your own reusable bag when you go shopping, you can purchase one at the minimum price set by the City. The bylaw requires that businesses work up to charging $0.25 per paper shopping bag and $2.00 per reusable shopping bag by July 2nd, 2024. Fines for handing out single-use items are hefty - a first offence starts at $500 and fines double for subsequent offences.
- On Wednesday, at 9:30 am, there will be a City Council Non-Regular meeting. On the agenda is an Operating Budget and Planning Discussion which will be held in-camera.
Last Week In Edmonton:
The completion date for widening the southwest Anthony Henday bridge has been pushed back until 2023. Weather delays, labour shortages, and supply chain issues were cited as reasons for the delay.
- The Edmonton Catholic School Board, facing higher-than-projected enrollment increase of 3.9%, has asked the Province to approve its updated budget. The division serves 44,900 students and the updated budget will draw about $9.6 million from reserves, which requires the Minister of Education’s approval. A voucher system, where funding follows children to whichever school they attend would solve this issue!
- A business case was presented for upgrades to Edmonton’s high solids anaerobic digester, a processing plant for organics. The recently opened facility went $12 million over its original budget and now needs $6.7 million more to build two screens and two mixers to filter out garbage and remove moisture. Edmonton Composting Facility (ECF) was supposed to work in tandem with the digester, but a roof collapse at the ECF and subsequent decision by Council not to pursue repairs or replacement meant that compost began arriving at the digester full of contaminants and was ultimately sent to line the landfill. More like high cost anaerobic disaster!
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