Waste reduction week reveals interesting statistics

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Edmonton – With Waste Reduction Week in full swing throughout the province, the Alberta Government announced Tuesday that Albertans have set a new record in beverage container recycling.

According to provincial figures, 83 per cent of containers are being recycled, an increase of more than five per cent in the last two years. It is believed the increase is due to a combination of increases in deposit-refund amounts and the ongoing commitment of Albertans to reduce their environmental footprint.

“Albertans are embracing beverage container recycling like never before,” said Environment Minister Rob Renner in a release Tuesday. “Despite these positive results, we still need Albertans to keep recycling if we are going to reach our goal of an 85 per cent overall return rate.”

More than 2.3 billion beverage containers are sold in Alberta every year and about 1.9 billion are returned to bottle depots for recycling. This means approximately 400 million beverage containers are still going into landfills instead of being recycled.

Last year, Alberta became the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce milk containers into the deposit-refund system, a decision that has pleased Ross Risvold, chair of the Beverage Container Management Board.

“We are pleased to see that return rates for milk containers have increased significantly since they were added to the system,” Risvold said. “We expect this rising trend to continue as more Albertans become familiar with taking all beverage containers, including milk, to their local depot.”

Waste Reduction Week runs October 18-24. In addition to Alberta’s beverage container recycling program, there are provincial recycling programs for used tires, oil, electronics, and paint. For more information on Waste Reduction Week, visit www.environment.gov.ab.ca/edu/wrw.

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