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Business Recycling 2016 Annual Report

A new option in 2016 for roofing businesses to recycle asphalt shingles resulted in a total of 2.3 million kg of them being diverted from the landfill in just the first year, City Council heard today. 

The fourth consecutive year of declining Construction & Demolition (C & D) waste disposal was aided by introducing the collection of recyclable asphalt shingles , according to a report presented to Council on the first-year results of the City's five-year implementation strategy for Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (ICI) and C & D waste diversion. Overall business sector waste disposal at the landfill dropped slightly in 2016, due in large part to the continuing decline in C & D waste disposal. The report notes that business sector waste disposal volumes vary year to year depending on factors such as the economy, housing starts and damaging storms. 

C & D waste disposal dropped to 189 kg per capita in 2016, down from 282 kg in 2015 and 341 kg in 2014. The report identifies that drop as the main factor in a slight decline of 36 kg per capita in 2016 in overall business sector waste disposal at the landfill. Meanwhile, ICI sector waste generation in 2016 was 490 kg per capita, a drop of 36 kg per capita from the previous year. The reasons for the ICI change were less clear and are still being investigated. 

"We're encouraged with the early results we're seeing in waste diversion, particularly in the Construction & Demolition sector," said Mayor Chris Spearman. "To make meaningful progress on waste reduction and diversion in in our community, everyone needs to play a part.It was confirmed today that they are." 

Focus areas and emerging opportunities in the business sector in 2017 include recycling of:

  • Mattresses and carpet underlay
  • Asphalt materials
  • Wood and drywall
  • Polystyrene foam

In 2015, City Council approved the ICI/C & D Waste Diversion Implementation Strategy that set out how to meet their targets of reducing local business sector waste disposal by 25-per cent waste by 2021 and 45 per cent by 2030. At that time, waste from these business sectors accounted for approximately 75 per cent of all material disposed of in the landfill each year. Waste generation by the C & D sector in 2016 was already below that sector's 2021 waste diversion target. 

In 2016, City Waste & Recycling staff made direct contact with more than 100 businesses as well as about a dozen business associations and major institutions to outline the waste diversion implementation strategy. 

The implementation schedule began in 2016 with a one-year voluntary/education phase. Commercial tipping fees at the landfill are progressively increasing throughout the implementation schedule, and in 2019, a $50/tonne surcharge is also to be introduced on loads containing designated recyclable materials. The final phase in 2020 will include the introduction of mandatory recycling and bans on disposing designated materials in the landfill. The implementation strategy was developed in consultation with business sector stakeholders in 2013. 

Council approved a Waste Diversion Policy in 2015 setting a target of reducing overall community per-capita waste disposal by 50 per cent by 2030. In addition to the business sector waste reduction targets, the policy targets increasing residential waste diversion from the current 20-per-cent level to 50 per cent by 2021 and 65 per cent by 2030.  

Media Contact:
Gerald Gauthier, Communications Consultant
403-320-3080
gerald.gauthier@lethbridge.ca