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What is the economic benefit of recycling in Alberta?

July 31, 2019

Have you thought about what the economic benefits of recycling are in Alberta? The Recycling Council of Alberta (RCA) was curious about the same question, so it hired Eunomia to help figure it out.

This study utilized primary and secondary data to calculate the social and economic benefits of recycling. Here are some highlights:

  • Job creation: A total of 4,500 direct full-time equivalent jobs are created in the province as a result of the existing recycling activities, with a further 1,600 indirect and 1,400 induced jobs (as a result of workers spending wages) – A total of 7,500 jobs.
  • Provincial tax benefits: The contribution that recycling activities make to provincial taxes on labour, production, and company income each year is estimated to be in around $60 million.
  • Gross Value Added (GVA): GVA sums up all the income earned by individuals or businesses involved in the production of goods and services. The GVA of the recycling sector in Alberta totalled $700 million in 2018.

AUMA has long advocated that recycling is more than just environmental protection. It is about job creation, economic diversification, and building the Alberta Advantage. AUMA is pleased to hear that the Minister of Environment and Parks is interested in expanding the electronics recycling program, and we hope the RCA report will persuade the Minister that program expansion is not only good for our environment, but it will also generate jobs in Alberta.

AUMA is asking our members to let the provincial government know about the benefit of recycling. We have drafted a template letter that you can share with your MLA about why program expansion and an Extended Producer Responsibility paper and packaging program is vital for Alberta.