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Rain barrel sale sells out early, as demand surges amid fears of summer drought

Rain barrel sale season kicked off Saturday morning with a splash.

Green Calgary launched its first of eight weekend rain barrel sales in the IKEA parking lot in southeast Calgary Saturday morning, where a long lineup that started at 8 a.m. left some shut out.

According to one prospective barrel buyer,  the sale was supposed to start at 10 a.m., but by 8 a.m., people were already being turned away, except for those who had pre-purchased one for $78 plus GST and delivery.

Green Calgary executive director Lex van der Raadt said the turnout was greater than his organization originally anticipated.

“It was extremely busy,” van der Raadt said. “People started lining up at eight, so we did a count and then turned away people when we realized all the rain barrels were spoken for.”

People were turned away, he said, to prevent them from getting stuck in a lineup and then not getting a rain barrel.

Two hundred rain barrels were sold Saturday but van der Raadt said more are going to be available next Saturday, when the rain barrel sale moves to the Coop in Dalhousie.

“We had anticipated demand would increase by about 50 per cent (over 2023),” van dur Raadt said, “but it increased by 200 per cent.

“We were a bit blown away,” he added. At the moment, there is a posting on the Green Calgary website that says, “Pre-orders for pickup and delivery are currently sold out.”

The organization has posted a rain barrel waitlist online.

“It’s good so many people want to save water,” said van der Raadt said.

Conserve water

Rain barrels help conserve water by capturing rainwater that would otherwise be lost to runoff,” officials said in a news release.

“By using collected rainwater to water your yard or garden, you’re doing your part to help use water wisely, which is especially crucial when we’re experiencing drought conditions.”

While many garden centres offer a variety of different types of rain barrels, Green Calgary’s rain barrels can also be purchased at Golden Acres.

“Remember, every drop counts when it comes to water conservation. By incorporating a rain barrel into your outdoor routine, you’re not only benefiting your yard but also contributing to a greener, more sustainable Calgary.”

Green Calgary is a local charity that works to help Calgarians recognize their individual impact on the environment and climate.

More details about the organization can be found online.

Here’s a list of rain barrel sales taking place every weekend (except the May long weekend) through June 22:

  • April 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., IKEA Calgary (8000 11 St. S.E.);
  • May 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Calgary Co-Op Dalhousie (5505 Shaganappi Tr. N.W.);
  • May 11, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Calgary Horticultural Society (2725 33 Ave. S.W.);
  • May 25, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Calgary Co-Op Deer Valley (1221 Canyon Meadows Dr. S.E.);
  • June 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Genesis Centre (7555 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.);
  • June 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Calgary Co-Op West Springs (917 85 St. S.W.);
  • June 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Inglewood Community Garden (2297 17 St. S.E.); and
  • June 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Community Natural Foods Chinook (202 61 Ave. S.W.).

With files from CTV Calgary’s Michael Franklin

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