With Wealth Comes Waste: Alberta to Focus on Environmental Waste with New Legislation | The Canadian News

With Albertans annually sending 1,034 kilograms of waste per person to landfills – a higher number than in any other Canadian jurisdiction, according to data from the Alberta government – it’s no wonder the province is looking to stop all waste.

On Monday, the government announced that new legislation will be introduced and, if passed, the Environmental Protection and Improvement Amendment Act would set the stage for the provincial government to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) framework next year.

“We have historically been the richest province in the country, and as a result, wealth tends to become a waste,” said Christina Seidel, executive director of the Alberta Recycling Council.

“We are big consumers because we have been rich and, as a result, we generate a lot of waste.

“We are the only province that produces more than a ton per person per year of garbage and that is something we really have to deal with.”

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The national average of waste produced per person is 710 kilograms per year, the province said.

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Essentially, the EPR framework would create a provincial system for managing single-use plastics, packaging, paper products, and hazardous and specialty products like pesticides and household solvents.

According to a press release from the provincial government, it would shift the physical and financial role of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste to industries that produce products rather than local governments and taxpayers.

“Basically, if you are a producer, whoever brings the product to the province, then you have to make sure that a certain percentage of that material is handled properly, that is. recycled, at the end of its life, ”explained Seidel.

The move would also increase recycling as a whole in Alberta, which Seidel says is good news for everyone. The increase would add about $ 1.4 billion to the economy and support about 13,300 jobs, Seidel said.

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“Right now, and for far too long, municipalities and taxpayers have been bearing the burden of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste,” said Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon.

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According to a press release, if approved, the EPR would help Alberta transition to a plastics circular economy and achieve one of the goals outlined in the Natural Gas Vision and Strategy for Alberta to become a Center of Excellence of North America for the diversion and recycling of plastics by 2030..

The public you are invited to provide additional comments and input to help inform Alberta’s EPR framework by December 15.

With files from Morgan Black, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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