Waste in YQL is an introduction to the problem of waste in Lethbridge and what we can do about it.

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Lethbridge is a beautiful city
with tremendous community pride

But as a resident...

You might be one
of the most wasteful
people on the planet


As long as large numbers of people have lived together,
we have struggled to deal with our waste

But it wasn't always like that

Historically, we were far better
at reusing materials
than we are today.

With fewer resources available,
we needed to be more resourceful
about what we threw away.

As human populations grew,
so did the amount of waste we produced

We now consume more than ever

because we produce more STUFF than ever.


our thinking on how to dispose of waste

couldn't keep up with the pace of manufacturing.

Our cities

became clogged

with garbage

As our waste continued to grow,

we created dumping grounds

People often tossed garbage
down the side of the coulees

Modern landfills are engineered to better protect the environment
from the garbage we throw away

But it can still linger
for thousands of years

Even with recycling, which helps combat the problem of mounting garbage,

it's still a struggle for us to put waste in the right place

This is very apparent in Lethbridge's landfill

In 2015 our residential waste consisted of:[1]







Many of the materials that we are
burying in our landfills are simply





Future generations will wonder at our behaviour.

Surely Lethbridge is not as wasteful as
other Canadian cities,


Actually, we produce more waste in Lethbridge than almost
anywhere else in the world

Living in Lethbridge, the average household of 4 people throws away

8 pounds of waste


We also waste at work...

... and in our free time

There are 96,000 of us in Lethbridge.

Imagine how our waste piles up.

All together, it's enough waste every year to:

Fill the water tower 90 times...

... cover the deck of the High Level Bridge 10 feet high...

... or fill Galt Gardens 15 feet deep

Not very pretty, is it?

We can do better to preserve our beautiful city.

Lethbridge must waste less.

Exactly how wasteful are we in Lethbridge? Our small actions can have a large impact. If everyone in Lethbridge threw away 5 apples a week, in one year there would be enough apple cores to fill 16 two-car garages. If everyone over the age of 18 in Lethbridge had 2 cups of coffee per day in reusable mugs instead of paper cups, we would save 11,672 trees/year. If every household in Lethbridge recycled 1 toilet paper tube and 1 plastic bottle from the bathroom/week, in one year there would be enough cardboard & plastic to make 20,000 12" cube boxes and 6,000 curbside bins. If every household in Lethbridge left their grass clippings to decompose rather than collecting them, the amount of landfill space saved in one year would be the same as filling 4463 garbage trucks.