NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association urge the Government of Alberta to immediately provide annual compensation in the form of a base amount to provide for recycling programs.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Government of Alberta provide for compensation when the recycling commodity markets are not viable.
WHEREAS recycling protects the environment and ourselves by ensuring discarded products that pose potential health risks are competently handled and mainstreamed into re-useable commodities;
WHEREAS recycling protects against ground contamination. E-waste material and paints contain chemicals such as mercury, lead and retardants that leach into the ground and may contaminate local aquifers;
WHEREAS recycling ensures that landfills are not overtaxed and ensures that they do not expire prematurely;
WHEREAS recycling protects non-renewable resources in that a large percent of waste is composed of non-renewable resources, and recycling ensures that we conserve land and reduce the necessity to use up valuable natural resources;
WHEREAS recycling conserves energy via byproducts which can be utilized to produce alternative fuels, further reducing the need to use natural resources;
WHEREAS recycling generates employment in that jobs are created in every step from collection and transportation to processing, ensuring the safe and responsible handling of all products, and the Alberta recycling industry employs hundreds of people;
WHEREAS recycling commodity markets are historically very unstable and therefore municipalities (through their landfill authorities/commissions/organizations) take the brunt of market fluctuations;
WHEREAS the present consumer requests recycling facilities and expects their municipalities/landfills to provide such a service as part of their tax dollar; and
WHEREAS the Government of Alberta’s new recycling initiatives are stymied as the current cost of recycling is prohibitive with little/no income from commodities, and the recycling industry suffers when landfills and recycling centers stockpile their commodities, thereby making it difficult to maintain a viable industry.
May 3, 2010 - Alberta Environment
The Government of Alberta agrees that municipalities should not continue to shoulder the costs of recycling packaging and printed materials; however, we are unable to provide base funding for recycling programs, as you have requested. Our focus instead is on implementing a regulated provincial packaging and printed materials stewardship program.
Similar to our other regulated recycling programs, the new packaging and printed materials program will shift the costs of recycling from municipalities to the generators of the material: producers and consumers. This will ensure that the program is funded regardless of the recycling commodity market, and that material is collected, processed and managed in a way that achieves the environmental goals and objectives of Albertans. Alberta Environment looks forward to working with the Alberta urban Municipality Association throughout program development to identify opportunities, and solutions to overcome any potential issues.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and the expertise that your members and the Association’s Sustainability and Environment Committee provide on these and other recycling and waste management matters.