City of Leduc makes strides in its environmental initiatives

Monday, June 3, 2024

The City of Leduc has released the 2023 Environmental Progress Report highlighting the necessary steps it is taking to ensure Leduc remains clean, green, and healthy for generations to come. 

The Environmental Progress Report reflects Leduc’s regional initiatives, including air quality monitoring and greenhouse gas reduction actions, civic projects, natural area enhancements, waste diversion initiatives, energy conservation, and alternate transportation.  

This report measured targets set in Leduc’s 2012 10-year Environmental Plan. 

Report highlights:  

  • Natural Resources Canada’s 2 Billion Trees Program (2BT) 

Launched in 2023, Leduc’s Urban Canopy Expansion Project, supported by funding through Natural Resources Canada’s 2BT Program, will see 20,000 trees planted in urban parks, along boulevards, and around restored wetland areas over a two-year period. In 2023, 10,785 trees were planted, including 1,005 seedlings planted across 0.7 hectares by City staff and volunteers at the North Telford Memorial Forest during its annual Arbour Day event. 

  • Alternative Transportation 

Residents continue to use and value transit services as a viable option over private vehicles. In 2023, ridership increased by 34 per cent (112,770 riders up from 84,146 in 2022). Leduc Assisted Transportation Services (LATS) increased by 12 per cent (23,779 riders up from 21,155 in 2023). On-Demand Transit increased by 15 per cent (28,578 riders up from 24,841 in 2022). Ridership through the e-scooter pilot project increased by 8.7 per cent (20,080 riders up from 18,330 in 2022). 

  • Energy Conservation  

The City retrofitted four buildings with rooftop solar panels to offset energy usage: the Leduc Recreation Centre, Operations Building, Eco Station, and Protective Services. Over the past year, the four buildings have generated approximately 1,620 megawatts of energy, which would power roughly 223 homes over one year. This represents an estimated $201,700 in energy savings. Also, greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 1,132 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to planting 19,000 trees in Leduc. 

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Excellence 

In 2023, Leduc received the Minister’s Award for Environmental Innovation in celebration of the solar carport and electric vehicle charging stations installed downtown. Last year, Leduc's two EV charging stations were used for 7,184 hours, which charged 7,654 cars and provided 169 megawatts of energy. 

  • Waste Diversions Initiatives

The City began an organics inspection pilot program in 2023 along with its new green organic waste carts. As waste is tipped into the collection truck, the AI system scans the items for contaminants, and if a contaminant is detected, a photo is taken of the item and is associated with the respective household bin. The goal is to reduce organics contamination by providing residents with timely information about how to sort household waste. During the pilot project, City staff saw a 50 per cent reduction in organics contamination. 

  • Aeroqual AQY Monitors

In 2023, the Alberta Capital Airshed and Alberta Environment and Protected Areas selected Leduc for a one-year pilot program to test the efficacy and accuracy of a new low-cost sensory technology, called Aeroqual AQY monitors, for Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) reporting. AQHI is a valuable tool for understanding outdoor air quality.  

Earlier this year, the City approved its next 10-year Environmental Plan, which focuses on the following priority areas: waste, water, land, ambient impacts, and climate and energy.