AUOMA Amalgamation with Alberta Recycling

The Alberta Used Oil Management Association (AUOMA) received notice this week that the Government of Alberta will be transferring the delegation of the used oil material recycling program to the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (Alberta Recycling). View the relevant correspondence here.

The RCA is strongly committed to encouraging policy and initiatives that increase resource conservation, waste reduction, reuse and recycling. We agree there are ways to strengthen recycling programs in the province. However, this announcement regarding program consolidation ignores the greater issues facing these programs, including the failure of the recycling regulations to allow program managers to increase fees to cover program costs, or to make changes to materials accepted in programs for recycling.

The RCA is very concerned that this change was advanced by the government without any consultation to assess the impacts on key stakeholders. Good governance requires adequate consultation, which has not occurred in this case. Consultation would also have helped to determine the real outcomes that would result from this change. At this point, it appears that wishful benefits are being used to rationalize a political decision.

Joining management boards does not address the real changes that need to be made. Attention will be diverted from larger issues such as the failure of the recycling regulations to keep up with material changes and program costs. We are concerned the long, overdue recycling regulatory amendments will remain on the backburner, while this administrative change, with little positive benefits, absorbs the department’s attention and resources. However, this change will require the regulation to be opened, so we urge the government to address the other necessary amendments at the same time.

We are also concerned this government has abandoned their commitment to the CCME Canada-wide Action Plan for EPR, while the rest of the country is honouring their commitment and successfully moving forward with this approach. We will continue to push for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs to address key materials such as packaging, HHW, and agricultural plastics.