Calgary

Okotoks group keeps junk out of dump using innovative program

A landfill south of Okotoks says it has figured out an efficient way to keep stuff out of the landfill with an on-site salvage centre that recycles used items.

Prices are at the discretion of cashier, electronics not guaranteed to work

Candice Dupre is proud of the Foothills Salvage and Recycling Society, a group that cleans and recycles items that were destined for the landfill. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

A landfill south of Okotoks says it has figured out an efficient way to keep stuff out of the dump with an on-site salvage centre that recycles used items.

And it's even turning a profit.

Candice Dupre is proud of the Foothills Salvage and Recycling Society.

"This is basically our clothing section," Dupre said.

The salvage centre at the Foothills Regional Waste Management Facility located south of Okotoks. It covers the Municipal District of Foothills and the towns of High River, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Okotoks and Nanton. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

The warehouse is full old clothing, electronics and antiques. All of it was destined for the landfill, but now it's for sale.

"Prices are at the discretion of our cashier. Items are tested for power only, electronic items are not guaranteed to work," she said.

Dupre says the net profit was more than $600,000 last year.

But she says the main goal is to divert trash from the landfill.

And that's where landfill manager Joe Angevine comes in.

Landfill manager Joe Angevine says the society is doing some amazing work. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

"The more we can divert, the more we can preserve this landfill site, then we don't need to look at incineration and different options like that, that are very expensive," Angevine explained.

"Some regions have to do [this] because they fill their landfills up."

He says the society is doing some incredible work.

The society even made a profit of more than $600,000 last year. (Andrew Brown/CBC)

"If you're down there any period of time and you see how busy that place is, you see how fast that material is moving through there, I mean, I figure it's got to be at least double or triple our diversion recycling."

Dupre and Angevine would like to see other landfills in Alberta consider doing the same.

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