Circular Communities Project

The Recycling Council of Alberta is working with municipalities across Alberta on the Circular Communities project to create opportunities to design out waste and conserve resources to transition to a circular economy.

The project’s first phase (completed in 2020) involved consulting with communities and collaboratively developing unique roadmaps for how each community can begin to design their own transition to a circular economy.

The RCA has now secured additional grant funding to pursue the second phase of the Circular Communities project. The project’s second phase is the implementation phase. Three communities will work with the RCA to put their roadmaps into action. This project is expected to run until the end of 2022.

Circular Communities Project Timeline

Circular Cities | Circular Initiatives | Banff Roadmap | Calgary Roadmap | Edmonton Roadmap | Lethbridge Roadmap | Strathcona Roadmap

Let’s shift the paradigm

of how we manage our resources

Consulting on the Circular City concept

The RCA has established a foundational group of Alberta municipalities to develop a Circular Cities Roadmap containing strategies for transitioning to a circular economy.  Other communities can follow their lead by using these success stories as models, along with others from across the globe.

The old model of a
linear economy is a dead end.

It harvests raw materials and heads in only one direction – towards disposal. This burns through finite resources, contributes to pollution, and creates a lot of garbage. We can shift the paradigm of how we manage resources by moving toward a circular economy.

Why circular cities?

Conserving and sharing resources saves money while reducing air, water and noise pollution, and cutting down on the release of greenhouse gas emissions and toxic substances.

Supporting the circular cities concept will:

  • raise awareness of strategies that reduce waste, conserve resources and combat climate change
  • increase understanding of why a linear economy is harmful, and what sustainable initiatives are possible
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate a circular economy

A Circular Economy

keeps products and materials in use for as long as possible

It fosters innovation and better design, reuse, recycling, remanufacturing and waste prevention strategies

What ideas are emerging?

Get inspired by these circular city initiatives already underway in Alberta:

Banff Food Rescue and Calgary’s Leftovers programs pick up food that would normally be thrown away, and dispense it to people and organizations in need.

Environment Lethbridge encourages residents to bring items in need of repair to free “Fix it Fair” events, which offer tools, space to work and guidance from volunteers to help make repairs.

Cities outline a commitment to sustainable building principles with policies that include the procurement of materials which contain recycled content, are regionally available, are re-used, or meet certification standards.

Arrows and Re-Use-It-Centres title represent this circular cities concept.

These centres reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by accepting items for reuse or repurpose.

“The RCA’s Circular Cities project is a fantastic way for municipalities to create a shared vision toward a circular economy in Alberta. Thank you to RCA for doing this important work and providing support as we begin our circular economy journey!”

Carla Bitz | Town of Banff

Circular City


RCA’s Circular Cities Project draws on circular economy concepts from around Alberta and across the globe. We thank our partners in sustainability for allowing us to share these ideas.


City of Amsterdam

Sharing Economy Action Plan


The City of Amsterdam uses a “living” Sharing Economy Action Plan to encourage this concept throughout the city. Using existing city budgets to provide funding, it targets multiple opportunities including housing, office space, product sharing opportunities and integrated sharing-mobility modes, such as cars, bikes and scooters. The initiatives include:

  • Peerby | This mobile app that connects people to each other for the benefits of borrowing and/or renting items.
  • Motoshare | A mobile app that connects people to a sharing platform for motorbikes and vehicles for temporary use.
  • LENA | This subscription service offers high-end fashion items for rent.

Five Roadmaps

Five Alberta communities

Five Alberta communities have worked with the RCA to develop roadmaps for sustainable action towards a circular economy.

Access the roadmaps for more details on circular initiatives from around Alberta.

Alberta Government logo

We thank Alberta EcoTrust and The Alberta Government’s Community Environment Action Grant for your support of this project.

The Circular Cities project supports the RCA’s primary mission to promote, facilitate and advocate for a Circular Economy in Alberta through waste reduction and resource conservation. For more information contact us or call 403.843.6563.

UNSPLASH IMAGES | Louis Paulin (Banff report) • Kyler Nixon (Calgary report) • Alicia Paydli (Edmonton report) • Graham Rutton (Lethbridge report) •