Top 5 Stories of 2016
The start of the new year wouldn't be complete without a "best of" list to close out 2016. Here are the top five stories and initiatives that we're excited about from 2016.
1. Curbside Recycling
In November, City Council voted to move forward with curbside recycling in Lethbridge.
Why we're excited: The increased convenience of curbside recycling will increase waste diversion in Lethbridge.
What else we'd like to see in 2017: Recycling should be the last, best option. Reducing and reusing are even more important and require everyone to take responsibility for their waste. Also, we'd love to see an equally convenient option to reduce the amount of food waste that goes into our landfill.
2. Increase in Solar Energy
Energy generation from solar installation increased across Alberta in 2016.
Why we're excited: Although solar makes up a small proportion of Alberta's energy supply, generation from microgeneration and solar farms increased significantly in 2016.
What else we'd like to see in 2017: Better incentives for mid-size installations (under 5MW) that could increase the development of urban, non-residential solar installations.
3. Community Action
Across Lethbridge, residents and organizations took action to help the environment.
Why we're excited: Community action is the key to environmental sustainability. Numerous groups and individuals took action in 2016, including the Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts, who established a call list to respond to escaped honeybee swarms; the Lethbridge Red Cross, who asked participants to bring their own dishes to their pancake breakfast and the Upper Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association who collected and sorted all the recycling from their Neighbour Day event.
What else we'd like to see in 2017: More of the same!
4. Businesses Stepping Up
Although their actions often fly under the radar, many local businesses are taking positive action on the environment.
Why we're excited: Last year we learned about a number of local businesses who are working to be sustainable, including London Drugs, which diverts 95% of its waste (and is aiming for 98%) and Pratt and Whitney Canada, who recently installed a wastewater evaporator to recover water within their facility.
What else we'd like to see in 2017: We know there are more good news business stories out there and we'd love to know about them.
5. City Planning
The City of Lethbridge began a number of planning initiatives in 2016.
Why we're excited: From large scale visioning exercises such as the 100+K Conversations to more specific planning initiatives around transit and cycling, the City of Lethbridge is setting the stage for positive environmental action.
What else we'd like to see in 2017: Approval and implementation of these plans to define Lethbridge's next decade.