It Takes a Village – Recycling Council of Alberta Conference

Connector Fall 2017

Lake Louise was the backdrop for the 2017 RCA conference, themed “It Takes a Village” October 11th – 13th. A total of 323 delegates travelled to the Chateau Lake Louise to experience this premier annual waste reduction event.

The conference kicked off Wednesday morning with the “Chinese Sword Market Restriction Update” workshop, updating delegates on the recent market restrictions of plastics and mixed paper in China. The afternoon featured a tour of the Chateau Lake Louise’s environmental programs and guided nature walk through the fresh snow. Delegates also had the choice of attending a workshop on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) featuring updates on Alberta’s previous municipal workshop, as well as insight into BC and Ontario’s programs. This workshop offered an opportunity for attending municipalities to provide additional input into the future of stewardship and EPR in Alberta. The afternoon sessions concluded with the first plenary session of the conference: Training the Village – Successful Education Techniques. This informative session was followed by the feature BBQ and Dialogue with the DAOs, giving attendees the opportunity to ask representatives from Alberta’s DAOs questions about their programs.

Then, conference participants jumped into the first of the fun events for which the RCA has become known. At the welcoming reception, participants competed on teams, in traditional Canadian sports. The most skilled, competitive and enthusiastic teams won prizes for their efforts.

Thursday brought the first full day of conference sessions, beginning with a highlight of the conference; the inspiring Young Guns panel“Young Guns – Waste Reduction Innovators” session. Delegates noted the passion, innovation and inspiration the seven “Young Guns” brought to the morning session. The motivating innovation only continued throughout the day with the keynote address on sustainable design. Afternoon concurrent sessions highlighted important, relevant topics such as food waste, waste reuse, problematic materials and featured a cross-country check-up. The day concluded with delegates showing off their creative Canadiana and Village themed costumes at the Box Social Banquet. The evening featured an incredible meal, Rs of Excellence Awards, Sponsor Tribute, and dancing to the energetic tunes of the Counterfitz.

Friday sessions focused on industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) waste, hearing from champion businesses and institutions about their successful ICI waste reduction and diversion programs. After a full program of sessions, displays, networking and fun, everyone left Lake Louise feeling inspired, informed and rewarded.

A very special thank you to all the amazing sponsors who made this event possible. Your continued support is very appreciated. And of course we need to recognize the many volunteers who helped deliver this fabulous event. We look forward to seeing you all in Banff in September 2018.