Sign In

Mandatory Recycling

There are changes coming July 1st 2020 to the way waste is managed by business or organizations in Lethbridge. Similar to the introduction of inspections and surcharges, a 90 day grace window will be added to allow businesses time to adjust to the new program.

The City’s waste reduction target aims to reduce waste coming from Lethbridge by half. Since businesses in Lethbridge generate over 60% of waste going to the landfill, it is critical that everyone does their part to achieve these goals. 

This is the next step in the implementation of our business waste reduction strategy.

Current News

At the April 6 City Council meeting, revisions to the Waste Bylaw were given first reading. These bylaw amendments contain provisions for Mandatory Recycling. At the June June 29 Council Meeting the revisions were given their second and third readings and the bylaw passed. Follow the link below for the updated bylaw.

Between March 5 and 19, 2020, a public survey was released to collect additional feedback from businesses. The report from the engagement session can be found following the link below.

How to get your business ready for Mandatory Recycling

Additional details for Mandatory Recycling will be added soon.


In 2013, the City of Lethbridge Waste & Recycling Services retained EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd. (now Tetra Tech EBA Inc.) to conduct a Stakeholder Engagement Project for the ICI and C&D sectors. In partnership with Sonnevera and Ipsos Reid, separate stakeholder engagement and consultation sessions were conducted for both ICI and C&D sectors, involving waste generators, haulers and processors. This was done in order to have independent industry focuses and accurately gain insight into material specific diversion programs.

On July 20, 2015, City Council approved the Waste Diversion Policy , which directed Waste & Recycling Services to develop waste diversion and waste disposal targets for our three generator sectors; construction and demolition sector; and the industrial, commercial, and institutional sector.

On July 1, 2019, City of Lethbridge Waste & Recycling Services began inspecting loads from businesses at the Lethbridge Waste and Recycling Centre for recyclable materials (referred to as Designated Materials in Bylaw 6146). A nine month grace period was run from July through the end of February.  During this grace period, inspections took place and feedback was provided to waste haulers, but no surcharges were given.

As of March 1, 2020, businesses unloading waste at the Lethbridge Waste and Recycling Centre will be charged $50 per tonne on the entire load if the load contains a combination of more than 25% commercially recyclable materials.

A mandatory recycling/source separation program for the Industrial Commercial and Institutional sector requires businesses to stop landfilling otherwise recyclable and reusable materials. For 2020 we are focused on 3 of the most common and easiest to divert materials: Wood, Cardboard and Paper*.

Our approach is to balance ease of adoption with significant reductions in the amounts of waste landfilled.

Our Program will require business to implement systems to divert these recyclable materials from their garbage. How your business does this will mostly be up to you. The proposed requirements will include:

  • Providing the infrastructure and services to allow your staff or students to recycle or otherwise divert these materials from the garbage,
  • providing signage and training to staff and students to make your program work,
  • keeping records about your diversion program to prove you are doing your part,
  • a simple online compliance report to let us know you are on track each year. 
On March 5, 2020, the City hosted an Information Session with businesses at City Hall to answer questions, record feedback and help businesses start thinking about how they can reduce their waste.

*Organic materials like wasted food, and landscape trimmings are scheduled to be added beginning in 2022.

For Public Inquiries:

Call 311 |  Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.