Rolling Out the Recycling Red Carpet – Recycling Council of Alberta Conference

Connector Fall 2018

The 2018 RCA conference took on a new look this year being hosted at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity September 19th – 21st. It was a record-breaking year with 372 delegates attending this premier annual waste reduction event.

The conference kicked off Wednesday morning with golfing on the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and an Open House at the Francis Cooke Landfill (Canmore). The afternoon featured a choice of three tours:

  1. “Banff Waste Management Stars” featuring Town bearproof collection containers, N-Viro biosolids processing facility, and Fendlands LEED Silver certified recreation centre.
  2. Canmore transfer station and recycling depot with a refreshment stop at RAW Distillery.
  3. Banff Centre Walk of Fame toured the inspirational facility and participants learned about the variety of Arts programs offered on campus.

Upon conclusion of the tours, the afternoon featured the first plenary session of the conference: Risky Business – Legal Issues. This informative session was followed by the RCA AGM and Guardians of the Galaxy – Stewardship Discussion. To begin the welcoming reception, The Honourable Shannon Phillips, Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks presented to a full house of delegates. The reception concluded with “Waste Trivia” having the most competitive recycling movie-going teams come out on top.

Thursday brought the first full day of conference sessions, beginning with “Back to the Future – Waste Diversion Legends”. This session provided delegates with a long history of waste reduction and recycling and changes the speakers have seen over the years. The vast industry knowledge continued throughout the day with the keynote address on building circular economy, presented by Glen Murray, former Ontario Environment Minister. Afternoon concurrent sessions highlighted important, relevant topics such as key industry updates, plastics recycling, single-use product reduction, recycling and the arts, and sustainable lifestyles. The day wrapped up with delegates walking the red carpet at the Recyclers Guild Banquet. The evening featured an incredible meal, Rs of Excellence Awards, Sponsor Tribute, and dancing to the energetic tunes of the Retrofitz.

Friday sessions involved discussions around extended producer responsibility (EPR) and intriguing presentations providing insight into leading international waste management programs and circular economy projects.

After a full program of sessions, displays, networking, and recycled ball gowns and suits, everyone left Banff feeling inspired, informed and creative.

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 Jasper in 2019.