Recycling Councils across Canada celebrated Waste Reduction Week from October 15th to October 21st. During this time, the Minister of the Environment, Rob Renner, announced a new long-term waste reduction and management strategy entitled Too Good to Waste: Making Conservation a Priority.

Three broad outcomes were identified in this waste management strategy:

  1. Albertans take responsibility for resource conservation and waste minimization.
  2. Waste management systems are integrated to provide the capacity for processing and/or recovery of materials that would otherwise be disposed of as wastes.
  3. Facilities and practises to manage secondary materials and wastes are protective of air, land, water and human health.

The new Strategy will reduce material heading to landfills, helping to protect air, land, water and human health. The first action in the Strategy is a new paint stewardship program that will enable Albertans to recycle used or leftover paint. This paint program will come into effect April 1, 2008 and will include an environmental fee which will be used to fund things such as the cost of recycling the paint, educating consumers and operating the program.

Other actions outlined in the Strategy include a construction and demolition program, targeted disposal bans, and a paper and packaging program, aimed at significantly reducing the amount of waste sent to municipal landfills. Setting recovery targets for specific materials along with reliable reporting systems to allow for appropriate measurement, as well as revising existing legislation concerning waste management were identified actions. The beverage container recycling regulation is currently under review.

The Report is available at  http://environment.gov.ab.ca/info/library/7822.pdf.