At this afternoon's Environment Committee meeting (pdf agenda) I'll be brining forward two ideas that I'd like to see tried in Grande Prairie. One is a water saving idea and the second could help keep a lid on over flowing trash bins that dirty our city. Both products come from a company I first encountered at the AUMA convention tradeshow.
Water Saving - I love the hanging flower baskets down town in the summer. They add a lot of life to our streetscape and I look forward to them going up every year. One thing I've noticed though is that maintaining them takes a huge amount of time and seems to waste a lot of water. Each day a city truck drives around to spray each basket with water. Unfortunately not all the water makes into the baskets and ends up watering the sidewalk below, quite a bit drains through the mossy bottom of the basket. I kept thinking that there has to be a better way that would take less time and waste less water. Turns out there might just be...
These planters from ALFA have a solid bottom and a built in water reservoir that eliminates the need for daily watering. I imagine that the savings in staff time of not having to water every day could pay for the planters in just a couple of seasons - and we'd stop wasting water!
Litter Bins - There are some spots in the city where regular litter bins just aren't cutting it. The two situations I'm thinking of are were bins are in remote locations and not picked up very often (like on the trails in Muskoseepi) and in places where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic that generates a lot of litter. In either situation the bins fill up to over flowing before being emptied out and after that excess trash gets blown around and makes a mess of the city. Some spots are particularly bad for this, the first that comes to mind is the west parking lot at the leisure centre.
This In-Ground Waste system is basically a 6 or 7 foot tall litter bin, where the majority is buried below ground. Being as big as they are they can handle a lot of trash before needing to be emptied. In remote locations maybe they'd only need to be emptied once or twice a year and in the high volume locations they could probably make it a week or two.
This afternoon I'll be making a motion at the environment committee to ask staff to evaluate at each system. I'd like to see staff provide a report evaluating potential cost savings and a plan on how we could run test projects for each idea.
What do you think - good ideas?