EPR Corner: Featuring Q&A from the RCA’s Webinar on April 24

Connector April 2023

The Recycling Council of Alberta will bring you a monthly feature on Alberta’s transition to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Each month we will feature FAQs we have received and key information about what is happening during the transition to EPR.

This month we are highlighting questions and answers from the Webinar on Alberta’s EPR Transition – Advice from Small Municipalities Across Canada held on April 24 in partnership with Alberta Municipalities and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta to share advice and guidance from other jurisdictions transitioning or in transition to EPR across Canada. The focus of this session was to support small municipalities in understanding the implications of EPR. A recording of this webinar is now available on the RCA website.

Key Q&A from the session (Updated August 2023):

Q: Will the Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) have the option to ask the municipalities to provide service on their behalf?

A: The Producers, through their PROs will make decisions on who provides services. Due to the timeline of April 1 2025, it is expected, similar to other jurisdictions, that the PROs will reach out to Municipalities and negotiate service provider contracts.

Q: Please help understand the level of service provided under EPR.

A: If the municipality had curbside waste and curbside recycling on November 30, 2022, they will receive curbside recycling on April 1, 2025 under EPR. If the municipality had curbside waste, but not curbside recycling on November 30, 2022, they will move to curbside recycling on October 1, 2026 under EPR.

Q: With the EPR program and when products have reached their end of life, will W2E be considered to ultimately keep these items out of a landfill?

A: Only 15% of collected, designated materials are allowed to be used for downcycling, including waste to energy. Producers will decide how to manage recyclables to achieve the Material management requirements in the regulation, EPR is not intended to be a W2E incentive.

Q: Based on EPR implementation timelines in Alberta, municipalities will be asked to opt in or out of EPR before servicing or financial information becomes available. This limits our ability to weigh the benefits and risks of our decision. Hypothetically, if we opt in to EPR and we aren’t satisfied with the PROs offer, will there be an option to change our decision?

A: Municipal contracts rate would be a negotiation, only if the municipality wants to be a service provider. If they do not like the offer, they can decline being a service provider.

We hope this helps answer your questions about EPR and any further questions can be shared with the RCA: info@recycle.ab.ca.