Quantifying the Economic Value of Alberta’s Recycling Programs (Report, June 17, 2019)

This study, commissioned by the RCA in partnership with ARMA, BCMB and SWANA, and supported by Alberta Economic Development & Trade, calculates social and economic benefits realized in Alberta from recycling activity. The study also includes an evaluation of additional material that could be captured and economic benefits that would be delivered through additional diversion.

Download the report here

Download the Benefits Calculator (Excel format)

China Market Restrictions – Frequently Asked Questions

The RCA has assembled a list of FAQs (Jan. 2018) on the current recyclables market situation in China. We are very interested in hearing the experiences of our members, so let us know how this is affecting you, as we continue to work with our partners to try to find feasible resolutions to this issue.

Finding the Right Hauler For You

Download the factsheet here or visit
Factsheet / brochure developed by The Green Calgary Association in consultation with the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation, The City of Calgary, The City of Red Deer, Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellent, Lakeland College, Recycling Council of Alberta, The Town of Cochrane, and Urban Impact Recycling

Recycling 101 Presentation

Resources and Presentations for Speakers:

For a young audience (Grade 4-8), use Alberta Environment’s interactive presentation:

Summary Fact Sheet on the Sustainability of Alberta's Waste Stewardship Programs

Agricultural Plastics Recycling Pilot Project

Summary Report – September 2009 (831 Kb)
In 2007, the Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) established a working group with representatives from the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association (APRA), the plastic manufacturing sector, retailers, recycling project operators, Alberta Agriculture, Alberta Environment, and recyclers to look at options for agricultural plastic waste that would be environmentally preferable to currently common practices of burning the material on-site, disposing it by burying in landfills or backyard pits, or leaving it in the environment as litter. As part of its research efforts, the working group established a pilot project on recycling of agricultural plastics. Before a recycling solution can be advocated problems associated with collection, shipment and recycling must be understood and solved. The goal of the agricultural plastics pilot program was to facilitate a recycling solution to conserve a plastic resource that is currently lost and in the process reduce the air pollution that results from open burning of the material. Assessments in communities across the province were made as agricultural profiles and climates differ significantly.

The Role of Waste-to-Energy in a Zero Waste World

Presentation for on-screen viewing 3.8 MB
Handout pages for printing 2.6 MB
The Recycling Council of Alberta has developed a presentation on the role and impact of waste-to-energy options in municipal waste management systems. This presentation is particularly suited to politicians (i.e., municipal councils) who may be interested in waste-to-energy alternatives, but have little technical background on the implications of this technology. The RCA is offering this presentation to municipalities in the interests of education and open dialogue about the future of waste management in Alberta. The presentation is anticipated to take about one hour, depending on questions and discussion. Those interested in hosting a presentation should contact the RCA at 403.843.6563 or

Scrap Metal Recovery and Recycling in Northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories

Report (PDF 2 MB)
This report, prepared by the Recycling Council of Alberta submitted to the Government of Canada Climate Change Mitigation Program (Enhanced Recycling) looks at the challenges northern remote communities face with managing their scrap metal. It focuses on the following topics:

  • Existing and related scrap metal recovery programs and associations
  • Northern Alberta and Nortwest Territories stockpiled scrap metal survey results
  • Greenhouse gas diversion potential from scrap metal recovery
  • Scrap Metal Recovery in the Northwest Territories Stakeholder Workshop
  • Transportation and processing/market options
  • Opportunities for financial assistance
  • Recommendations for scrap metal recovery in the Northwest Territories

Recycling Council of Alberta Green Procurement Template

Template (PDF 158.78 Kb)
The RCA, through its Leadership & Advocacy Committee, has developed a Green Procurement Policy Template that is intended to make it easier for organizations to develop their own green procurement policy. Considering the environment when making procurement decisions is very important in reducing your organization’s overall environmental footprint. The RCA is hoping that this template will serve as a catalyst for organizations who want to have a green procurement policy, but aren’t sure where to start. Just fill in the blanks, or use the information provided to develop your own customized policy.

Recycling Council of Alberta Green Procurement Research

Report  (PDF 1 MB)
This report provides a situation analysis on green procurement in Alberta and Canada and develops a road-map for those considering setting up their own program. It includes information on

  • Research of green procurement programs including innovative examples of successful green procurement
  • Developing and implementing a green procurement policy
  • Resources to assist in developing a green procurement policy.
  • Locating green products

Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Waste Management Options

Report Summary  (PDF 168 KB)
The RCA developed a summary of the report “Determination of the Impact of Waste Management Activities on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2005 Update” (by ICF Consulting for Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada) showing that the 3Rs Hierarchy is valid by comparing GHG emissions generated by the different waste management options.

MSW Options Workshop: Integrating Organics and Residual Treatment / Disposal

RCA and mwin administered these workshops hosted by Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Representatives from Canadian municipalities were invited to attend. The workshop was held twice, one in the Toronto area (Feb. 23, 2006), and one at the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel (Mar. 2, 2006).
Speaker Presentations:
Introduction, PDF 336 KB  – Christina Seidel, Recycling Council of Alberta
Overview, PDF 572 KB – Michael Cant, TSH Engineers Architects and Planners
Composting, PDF 1.1 MB – Paul van der Werf, 2cg Inc.
Anaerobic Digestion, PDF 1.5 MB – Maria Kelleher, Kelleher Environmental
Thermal Treatment, PDF 1.5 MB – Konrad Fichtner, Gartner Lee
Landfill (Sanitary and Enhanced Treatment Landfill), PDF 1.2 MB – Neil MacDonald, CH2M Hill
Final Report:
     Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Options: Integrating Organics Management
and Residual Treatment/Disposal, PDF 3.6 MB

Provincial Waste Characterization Framework

Final Report (1.5 MB – PDF format)
Comprehensive and accurate measurement of waste generation and disposal continues to be an issue at both provincial and national levels. Considerable efforts and progress are being made towards improving and streamlining the measurement of waste disposal across Canada. At the same time, additional detail and perspective can be obtained through closer examination of the composition of waste generated from various sources. A number of communities and organizations have conducted waste composition analyses for their internal use. This project was initiated to develop a provincial waste characterization framework that will provide a suggested protocol for conducting waste characterization studies, as well as a process for coordinating and aggregating waste characterization data on a provincial level.

National Workshop on Waste Measurement (held in Banff on March 22-23, 2004)

Final Report, includes the presentations given (3.3 MB — PDF format)
Comprehensive and accurate measurement of waste generation and disposal has been identified as an issue virtually across the country. A national multistakeholder committee was established to address issues surrounding national standardization of waste diversion measurement, or Generally Accepted Principles (GAP) of waste measurement. This committee has served to initiate valuable discussion regarding these issues, and has developed a protocol and manual that communities can follow in producing comparable waste generation and diversion measures. It was determined that a national workshop on waste measurement would be valuable in determining barriers and opportunities to increased standardization of waste measurement and reporting throughout Canada.