If you are not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?
Overall waste reduction leading to Zero Waste is the end goal and philosophy behind our solid waste management strategy.
“Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.” Zero Waste International Alliance
Alberta has a long way to go to achieve this vision. Although municipalities across the province have implemented successful local recycling programs, Alberta is the most wasteful province in Canada. This poor result is partially due to Alberta’s outdated recycling regulations, some of which have not been updated since 1997.
Join the campaign to modernize Alberta’s recycling regulatory framework
AUMA encourages municipalities to join its letter writing campaign calling for MLAs to champion an update to Alberta’s recycling regulatory framework.
In 2013, public consultations held by the Government of Alberta showed strong municipal support for the expansion of Alberta’s electronics, tires, paint, and used oil recycling programs, and for regulatory changes that offer these programs the flexibility to keep pace with the cost of maintaining them. To date, the province has failed to take action despite persistent advocacy by the AUMA and other recycling stakeholders. Without regulatory changes, these programs are in danger of collapsing, downloading the responsibility and costs to municipalities.
AUMA has developed a letter template that municipalities can download and adapt to send to their MLAs outlining the need for provincial action to improve waste management in Alberta. A background document is available for further information.
In addition, the following section shares current examples of the steps municipalities are taking to manage waste as well as resources available to support their efforts.
How do we reduce waste?
AUMA has adopted a three 3Rs hierarchy approach to waste management: reduce, reuse, recycle. When the 3Rs have been exhausted, recovery and disposal lie at the bottom of the hierarchy as last resorts. Click on the words in the pyramid to read more about each, including the role of municipalities and promising practices.
Municipalities are increasingly collaborating to provide services to their residents and waste management is no exception. For example, the Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee (CRWMAC) provides a forum for all municipalities in the Capital Region area to share information and implement joint waste minimization strategies and solutions. It’s Terms of Reference sets out a vision for the region to be a leader in waste minimization that strives to achieve greater than 80 per cent waste diversion.
The CRWMAC has developed the Capital Region Integrated Waste Management Plan (CRIWMP) to evaluate the “how to” and feasibility of achieving the target of diverting 80 per cent of waste. Documents related to the plan include the following:
- Memo on review of program implementation
- CRIWMP Assessment Tables
- CRIWMP Resource Planning Tables
- CRIWMP Program Summary
- CRIWMP Implementation Schedule
2013 Waste Reduction workshop
On April 19, 2013, 60 people representing over 20 different municipalities, the Government of Alberta and recycling organizations participated in a Waste Reduction Workshop in Red Deer. The workshop allowed municipalities and regional partnerships to share information on their waste reduction programs and discuss common challenges and opportunities.
Click on the links below to view presentations delivered at the workshop:
- AUMA - Working Together Towards Zero Waste
- Bow Valley Waste Management Commission - Organics in the Rockies
- Capital Region - Integrated Waste Management Plan
- City of Calgary - Glass Recycling Options
- City of Calgary - Organic Materials and Biosolids
- City of Red Deer - Waste Management Master Plan
- Rocky View County - Agricultural Plastic Recycling in Alberta
The workshop was organized by the Capital Region Waste Minimization Advisory Committee and the Calgary Region Waste Reduction Partnership and hosted by the City of Red Deer with support from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and the AUMA.