Where does our waste go?

Today, with the Ucalgarycares sustainable cities team we explored the Shepard Landfill site and the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Southwest Calgary. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but my first impressions were excellent. When we first arrived on the bus we were greeted by a very funny bus driver and then we rode off to the landfill. I learned many things while on tour of the landfill, ranging from composting stations, bicycle donations, waste management sites, city programs, proper garbage sorting methods, etc. The City of Calgary is currently making an extreme effort towards diverting garbage to the right location in order to maximize current and sustain landfill usage. By implementing many programs such as the Green Bin program launching in 2017, it will help alleviate the amount of garbage that goes into our landfills. Finding alternative ways to put our trash and ensuring it is done in the most safest and sustainable way is very important. Our cities are complex locations and leaving waste is one of the by-products of such metropolises. Without waste management, our cities would come to a halt and result in chaos. We need to focus on how we can reduce our garbage and maximize current landfill usage through education and programs to help the average citizen stay informed.
At the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment plant in Southwest Calgary, I was impressed by the technology and resources we have in order to safely clean our wastewater to divert back into the Bow River. Calgary is located on the Bow River and has an important role in sustaining our environment and many other downstream. I learned that the Bow River actually finishes its journey at the Hudson Bay and that Calgary plays an important role in ensuring safety and cleanliness for communities and habitats downstream. I am amazed that Calgary is a top leader in Wastewater management and treatment in the Country. With innovative technology and resources, we can take care of our city, natural environments and habitats in order to sustain the livelihood and health of our region and planet. It takes local, provincial and regional effort and mutual agreement to reach our sustainable goals.  Environmental sustainability at large is a large and complex issue, but with innovation, determination and the will to help change the future we are able to achieve a sustainable future for our planet.
– Niko C.



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