Concerned about overflowing landfills, the government of Alberta several years ago developed a waste disposal strategy called “Too Good to Waste: Making Conservation a Priority.” This report started off by stating at that least 80% of wastes sent to municipal landfills at the time were materials that could have been recovered.
Determined to improve waste management so that the amount of materials sent to landfills could be reduced from 806 to 500 kg/capita, the provincial government developed a “road map for waste reduction and management.” This “road map” outlined the significant progress Alberta saw between the years 1972 and 2004 in terms of improved waste management and called for many more improvements, as well.
Facts about Alberta’s Waste Management
This document stated several interesting facts:
• Alberta is Canada’s largest per-capita disposer to municipal solid waste.
• Agriculture produces the greatest volume of residual material in Alberta. Most are recovered.
• Hazardous waste generation in Alberta is increasing.
• Contaminated soil is Alberta’s single largest waste stream.
• Incentives and performance measurement
• Shared responsibility between various municipalities and facilities
The new plan called for widespread participation from government, municipalities, the agricultural sector and other entities to find better ways to recover more materials and to properly dispose of hazardous wastes. For more information on Alberta’s waste management efforts and their results, visit Alberta Environment at www.environment.alberta.ca.