Today, Alberta becomes the first jurisdiction in North America to further encourage the recycling of milk and dairy containers through a deposit on containers. (See our blog)
And Alberta continues to lead the way when it comes to waste diversion and recycling with a construction and demolition waste recycling program. The program is in the final stages of industry and public consultation, and although the details of the program haven't been set, it will likely be based on a deposit / refund system administered through an arm's length not-for-profit organization. Stay tuned.
This is an awesome enterprise because of both the volume of material to be diverted from landfills and the variety of material and manufacturers and users involved. Up to seven tonnes of waste is generated from the building of an average home. The impact on our landfills is significant. In Alberta in 2006, more than 860,000 tonnes of C&D waste went to landfills. 50% diversion from landfills means a savings of 130 kg for every Albertan. It's possible the new deposit program could encourage up to 70% or 75% of waste from construction sites being diverted. That's high-impact volume.
The material is varied - asphalt and asphalt shingles, wood, drywall, concrete, metals - meaning the recycling of the materials involves a number of recyclers and products. The program also requires buy-in from construction companies and associations, recyclers and manufacturers - no small feat.
The good news for Albertans - the construction and C&D waste recycling industry are already recycling material that would otherwise be filling landfills. The market is already responding with recyclers in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Lethbridge. This is a great example of Alberta's spirit to achieve: Watch here