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Clear bags voted out

On March 20, 2017 City Council voted to remove clear bags from the Waste Management Bylaw.

Starting the week of April 3, you will be allowed one bag of garbage per week (can be any colour of bag). 

Bag tags for excess garbage bags can be purchased for $3/tag. A total of four bags can be placed out for collection each week (one bag included in your fees plus up to three tagged bags).

Care and Compassion provision

Council also approved care and compassion provisions that include:

Diaper exemption
Residents who apply for the diaper exemption will receive excess waste tags for one extra garbage bag each week for six months. The household must have two or more children under the age of four and this exemption must be re-applied for every six months. The application form will be available shortly.

Medical exemption

Residents who apply for the medical exemption will receive excess waste tags for one extra garbage bag each week for six months. This exemption must be re-applied for every six months. The application form will be available shortly.

Waste Audits

Council directed staff to determine levels of contamination by looking for organics and recyclable materials in residential garbage bags over the next year. The results of the waste audits will be presented to Council in 2018.

Reduced fees

Due to successful contract negotiations, the estimated costs for waste management programs came in lower than estimated. The increase from resident’s current utility bill will be $3.92 where the estimated cost was $6.44. This takes into account the savings from the closure of Westside Recycle Depot, the reduction of one bag per of garbage per week, and the decrease in staffing at the Eastside Recycle Depot. It also takes into account the added cost of curbside recycling collection and the reduced commodity revenue from the Eastside Recycle Depot.


The ins and outs of curbside recycling

Learn about curbside recycling and the upcoming changes to waste collection

Can plastic cling wrap go in the blue cart? Where do I dispose of chip bags? Find answers to these questions and much more by attending a presenation or checking out our Quick Guide to Recycling and Quick Guide to Waste.

Waste and Recycling presentations
The last of the four information session will take place at the Bert Church Theatre located at 1000 East Lake Blvd, Airdrie. The session will start with a presentation followed by a Q&A on Saturday, March 25 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

The session will start with a presentation that covers everything on the changes to waste collection, the use of clear bags, as well as the new curbside recycling program, plus a refresher on the recycling programs Airdrie already has in place. The goal of these presentation is to provide residents with all of the information they need to ensure the program is a success and to provide residents an opportunity to meet staff and ask questions.


Watch for this reference guide below and many more helpful tools coming with your blue cart in March! 


Curbside Recycling

Starting the week of April 3, single family homes in Airdrie will start receiving curbside recycling collection. Along with the addition of a blue cart program, changes to garbage collection will be implemented including a reduction to one bag per week of garbage.  

Why were these decisions made?
Several factors were considered when contemplating the one bag initiative including:

Currently, Airdrie’s waste is hauled to the City of Calgary landfill for disposal. In February 2016, the City of Calgary implemented higher fees for any loads of waste that contain paper or cardboard. The next step which will occur in the fall of 2018, is an outright ban with financial penalties for loads containing paper and cardboard.

The City of Airdrie was granted an exemption from these increased fees to allow us time to put diversion programs in place, however, the exemption will be withdrawn in 2018. If the City achieves the goal of diverting banned material (paper and cardboard) from the waste stream, the City will realize a 65% savings on disposal waste fees.

The next items on Calgary’s Designated Materials list to remove from the waste stream is food and yard waste. The City of Airdrie’s Organics program already provides residents the opportunity to be in compliance with this ban. Again, higher waste disposal fees (65%) will be incurred should organic material be in loads brought to Calgary landfill. The ban on food and yard waste is expected to be in place by fall of 2019.

In order for the City of Airdrie to meet the requirements for the lowest available landfill rate, we must eliminate paper, cardboard and organics from our residential waste stream. The curbside recycling program together with the Eastside Recycle Depot provides an opportunity to remove virtually all recyclable material from our residential waste stream.

Why one bag a week?
Since 1992, Airdrie has been seen as a leader in waste management. Airdrie was the first community to implement a user-pay garbage system and introduced a 2 bag waste limit in 1998. A characterization study was done on residential waste and it confirmed 15% is Recyclable materials, 36% Compostable Food, 29% Compostable Leaf and Yard Waste and 20% Landfill waste. By providing residents with the means to divert recyclable and organic material through curbside collection programs and introducing the clear bag program to ensure materials are in fact being removed, it is predictable that the residential waste volumes will be significantly reduced. Residents will still be able to purchase up to 3 additional bag tags per week at $3/tag. 

Bag size and weight limit
Garbage bags can be up to a maximum size of 90cm x 127cm and up to 25kgs. 

I have a Carriage House/Secondary Suite, are there exemptions?
No, each single-family property has a single utility account that includes water, sewer and waste management programs.  Under the Waste Management provision, each utility account is eligible for; 1 Recycling cart, 1 Organics cart and 1 bag of garbage per week (biweekly organics during winter months).

Residents can still purchase up to 3 additional bag tags per week at $3/tag.

Why is the City not offering a black cart like Calgary does?
Our research has shown that by offering a large black cart like Calgary does, we would not see the significant reduction in waste we expect to see when we reduce to one clear bag.

What materials will be accepted in the blue cart? See our Curbside Recycling pages. 


Use of recycling facilities

City of Airdrie recycling facilities including the Airdrie Transfer Site are subsidized* through an environmental fee paid by Airdrie and Rocky View County residents (additional fees apply at the Transfer Site.)

*Business use of our facilities is not permitted as businesses do not contribute to this funding.

What do we do?
Waste & Recycling Services provides residents with options for managing their eesidential/household waste through services and education, considering environmental, social and economic impacts.

The department is responsible for:

  • residential garbage collection
  • residential organics collection
  • operation of the Eastside and Westside Recycle Depots
  • operation of the waste transfer site
  • coordination of Multi-family Recycling Education Program
  • education specific to waste diversion and recycling
  • various other events and initiatives
  • Eco Edge Awards, Eco Art Awards, Eco Youth Awards

Contact us

P. 403.948.0246

F. 403.948.8819


Eastside Recycle Depot
21 East Lake Hill
Airdrie, AB T4A 2K3
Westside Recycle Depot
2925 Main Street
Airdrie, AB
Transfer site
Seven km west on Highway 567, next to the rodeo grounds.