Who is in the Creek?

The City of Grande Prairie’s Environmental Stewardship Department has been getting their feet wet. As part of the technical requirements needed for the development of the Wapiti River Water Management Plan (WRWMP), the City has been working closely with Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development on three important projects. The first is a water quality study focusing on Bear Creek. The study examines water quality as it passes through city limits. The collected water samples will shed light on what nutrients Bear Creek adds to the Wapiti River, and how the urban environment affects the chemistry of the water. The data will provide the WRWMP Steering Committee with information that will help assist the development of a science based management plan for the Wapiti River.

In addition, the Bear Creek Water Quality Study examines the flow in the creek. The yearlong project will allow for the establishment of a Stage Discharge Relationship which will assist Engineering Services with future storm water management strategies. Understanding discharge will increase awareness regarding how much flow the creek can safely handle. All of the information gathered will be available to the public upon project completion. Any questions or inquiries may be directed to the City’s Sustainability Coordinator, Kase DeVries. The next round of sampling is scheduled for mid-OctoberP1050210

Call for Art!

This is the second year that we have had a call for art. The art is needed to wrap city owned utility cabinets. Wrapping the cabinets adds some visual interest in the landscape and also helps to deter graffiti. This year the Take Part Take Pride Committee and the Beautification Committee will be helping to select the art. 

The deadline for submissions is March 1 – so if you have some art that you think would look good on a utility cabinet please send it to us! 

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Icy Conditions

We have had a real mix of weather over the past month from record amounts of snow to flash freezes. This warm weather that has occurred in the past week has melted a lot of the snow that had accumulated which is also wreaking havoc on how pedestrians are able to commute.

You have some options  on ice control. You can use a product that aids in traction control, products such as kitty litter, sawdust, gravel, and something called eco-traction. These kinds of products don’t work to melt the ice but rather provide traction for better mobility . These products will leave the ice looking very similar to this photo

traction control

Products that melt the ice do exactly that – they melt the ice up to a certain temperature. We have a list of products available at Canadian Tire . A common ice melt product has a blue tint to it so that you can see it on the ice.

ice melt

There are benefits and draw backs to all products so it is important for you to use a product that you are comfortable with. You can also use what is commonly called brute force – you know the kind that uses an ice chipper and a couple of hours of labour! Whatever you choose to use, it is important that you try to control the ice so that pedestrians have a fairly safe place to walk during the winter weather.

Please don’t have your sidewalk looking like this!

no control

Recycling at Christmas

Did you know that Christmas wrapping paper can be recycled?  Just place your wrapping paper (free of bows, ribbon, etc.) in your blue bag along with your other recyclables. There is no limit to the amount of blue bags at your curb however space is limited in the winter period.  Placement of your bags can be challenging in the winter with the snow. Aquatera has some tips on how to place your bags.

You can also visit the Eco Centre where you can not only drop off all your blue bag items, but the Eco Centre also accepts many other items including Styrofoam

Does your curbside collection day land on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day?  Well, if your garbage day is on Wednesday, it sure does…but do not fear – your garbage will be collected the following day on Thursday, December 26th and Thursday, January 2nd

Tis the season to TREEcycle.  Grande Prairie residents can place their real tree out of collection on their regular garbage day during the week of January 13th – 17th, 2014 for no charge.

  • Limit of two trees per household.
  • Trees can be no longer that 3.6 m (12ft) in length.
  • Program includes live trees only.
  • Please remove all decorations and tinsel before recycling.
  • Residents can also bring their tree to Aquatera’s Eco Centre (until January 31st) or Aquatera’s landfill for no charge.

For more information please visit Aquatera’s website at www.aquatera.ca.

Aquatera would like to wish you a warm, wonderful and waste-free holiday season……..

 

Having a greener Christmas

Yes, the holidays draw out the best in most of us each year….but they also bring what seems like an environmentalist’s worst nightmare: tons of garbage, millions of chopped down trees and megawatts of flashing lights.  With a little tweaking however, everything from holiday gift-giving to light-stringing can celebrate the environment too! 

Here’s Some Tips to Make your Christmas a little Greener! 

Take your own re-usable shopping bags with you when you do your Christmas shopping.  It is estimated that approximately 125,000 tons of plastic packaging are thrown away over Christmas!

While you’re getting out your Christmas decorations; untangling cords and replacing batteries for your animated snowman or Santa Claus; Aquatera’s Eco Centre is now able to accept your old one time use alkaline batteries.  

Did you know that not all gifts need wrapping?  Think back to your three favourite holiday memories, I’m willing to bet that they all involve time you spend with your family and friends.  By giving gifts that can be experienced, like tickets to a game, theatre or concert or even a homemade dinner, you can minimize wrapping.

Wrap gifts in reusable containers like baskets, tins, hatboxes or cloth bags or have your child draw a picture on plain newsprint and use it to wrap a gift. 

Did you know that Christmas wrapping paper can be recycled?  Just place your wrapping paper (free of bows, ribbon, etc.) in your blue bag along with your other recyclables.Christmas Wrap

We thank Amy from Aquatera for be our blog guest this week. Amy will be providing guest blogs again, in fact, she will be providing another blog just prior to Christmas.  

Recycling in Alberta

We received great news from Aquatera in the past couple of week – they are now collecting alkaline batteries. What is an alkaline battery? It is that battery that you use to operate your remote control, camera, smoke detector, and so on. So rather than throwing those batteries in the landfill now you can save them and take to the Eco Centre on your next trip.

Other recycling news is the Alberta Government is looking for your input on proposed changes to Alberta’s regulatory framework for designated recycling materials. Alberta has the highest waste disposal rate in the country, in 2010 we sent 4 million tonnes to landfills. This number includes industrial waste, which is a large component of our waste stream. We do need to make some changes and reduce what is going into our landfills. You can download the workbook and provide your comments on the changes. The comments that they are looking for are on topics such as expanding the electronics recycling program; environmental fees; designation of packaging and printed paper and designation of household hazardous waste. You can provide responses to all or just one of the sections. All feedback  must be submitted by December 13, 2013.

What’s up in the Environment Department for November

The Show Us Your Lunch Campaign got off to a slow start but picked up speed and we had quite a few submissions. Congratulations to everyone who participated – collective small steps can make a big difference! We also had eight businesses express interest in recycling bins, we have applied for a grant to obtain more bins. 

So in November we have a few projects going on. Council has appointed two Councillors (one newly elected and one incumbent) external committees, Peace Airshed Zone Association and Might Peace Watershed Alliance. We will be working with both Councillor McLean and Thiessen to ensure they have all the background information they need to be part of these organizations. 

We also will be attending the Enbridge Northern Gateway Peace Country Community Advisory Board meeting and the Wapiti River Water Management Plan Committee. The Department represents the City in these organizations. 

We are also working on compiling a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the Partners as we strive to complete milestone one in the Partners for Climate Protection Program. Once we have completed the GHG inventory for the organization we will be working on the community inventory. 

We are also working on updating our web pages. If you have an idea of what we need to include on our pages – please let us know. You can also sign up for alerts and as we post news items you will get the information delivered right into your inbox! 

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