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Commercial Waste and Recycling

Business Recycling and Organics

Waste is a community problem that requires community solutions. Routine waste audits demonstrate that the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) and the Construction and Demolition (C&D) sectors together have historically represented around two-thirds of all landfilled waste in Lethbridge each year. The Business Waste Diversion Strategy was approved by City Council to reduce business waste in Lethbridge, with a goal to reduce by 45% by 2030.

The City of Lethbridge has tools and resources to help businesses implement and maintain successful waste diversion programs.

Mandatory Recycling and Organics for Businesses and Organizations

Lethbridge is home to more than 2,900 businesses, institutions, and private organizations. Whether large, small, family-owned, part of a national corporation, for-profit, or a charitable organization, these establishments all fall under the new Mandatory Recycling and Mandatory Organics provisions within the City of Lethbridge’s Waste Bylaw 6146.

Mandatory Recycling and Mandatory Organics is a requirement that the recyclable/organic materials generated by staff, contractors, and visitors of Lethbridge businesses and organizations be diverted from landfill.

Mandatory Recycling and Mandatory Organics applies to every property and premises that is not already covered by residential programs, from small shops in a mall to the largest factory in an industrial park. It also applies to food trucks while operating within Lethbridge.

Home-based businesses will continue to use their blue carts and green carts and are not impacted by Mandatory Recycling and Mandatory Organics rules.

1. Provide adequate containers/storage areas for recyclables and organics to all employees and patrons

  • Maintain receptacles for recyclables and organics
  • Post clear signage on or above receptacles

2. Provide removal and processing of recyclables/organics to a facility authorized by law

3. Conduct training for all employees

  • Train employees on how to use the recycling and organics receptacles/storage areas
  • Re-train affected employees when substantive change in waste collection services happen

4. Report compliance online annually

  • Report compliance annually using the City of Lethbridge’s online Re-TRAC Connect.

Our goal is to have businesses and organizations recycling the same materials that residents do, plus materials specific to commercial waste such as scrap metal, asphalt shingles and unprocessed wood.

Recyclable/compostable materials required to be diverted by the ICI sector include:

  • Paper & Cardboard – Newspaper, catalogues, magazines, mixed paper, boxboard, corrugated cardboard
  • Hard Plastics & Cans – Hard plastics #1-7, metal cans, clean metal foil, beverage containers
  • Organic materials – Food waste, yard waste, food-soiled paper products, wet paper hand towels
  • Recyclable wood – Dimensional lumber, pallets, tree pruning, and other items and are made of raw and un-processed wood
  • Concrete – Concrete foundations, sidewalks, brick, rubble, gravel and sand suitable for recycling
  • Brick & Masonry Block – Structural or decorative, with or without mortar, crushed or whole
  • Asphalt Shingles – Asphalt shingles from new construction or re-roofing
  • Asphalt Pavement – Road asphalt
  • Scrap Metals – General scrap metal including appliances and structural or decorative metal and metal items suitable for recycling
  • Drywall – Clean gypsum wall board from new construction suitable for recycling

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

Designated Materials

Since February 1, 2023, loads are being inspected for organic materials (e.g. yard waste, food waste, food-soiled or wet paper). If a load contains a combination of more than 25% commercially recyclable and/or organic materials, an educational surcharge note will be issued. The education period will last until September 5, 2023, at which time the $50/tonne surcharge will be applied to loads with more than the established threshold for commercially recyclable and/or organic materials. 

Visit the City of Lethbridge Re-TRAC Connect and complete your business information profile, then follow the prompts to complete your Waste report. Reports must be submitted annually by January 31.

Waste reports must identify the waste hauler, attach photos of containers with correct signage, and provide a summary of how staff, contractors, and/or students were trained on use of the recycling and organics containers.

If a business or organization continuously fails to meet these requirements, City staff will follow up to support. If no effort is made to report, there will be fines and penalties as dictated by the bylaw.

The City of Lethbridge has staff that can assist you with meeting or exceeding our waste diversion requirements. To connect, please contact 311 or 403-320-3111 (if outside of Lethbridge).

Commercial Collection Services

The City of Lethbridge offers a wide range of business waste collection options to suit any need. We offer a variety of container sizes from .35 cubic meter (large waste collection carts, such as those used for residential waste collection) to 4.5 cubic meter bins (6 cubic yard bins) with collection frequencies of twice a month to five times a week.
Commercial collection rates are updated annually.

For current rates, visit Commercial Collection Services.

Processing and Disposal Rates

In an effort to divert materials from the landfill, processing and disposal rates will be adjusted annually to encourage recycling of materials rather than landfill disposal. 

For current rates, visit the Landfill webpage.

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