Canadian Waste Facts

ccr-recycling-examplesReasons why you should change the way you think about your waste!

Canadians generate approximately 31 million tonnes of garbage a year and only recycle about 30 per cent of that material. This means that each person generates approximately 2.7 kg of garbage each day.

Statistics Canada – Alberta leads the country in the per capita disposal of Municipal Solid Waste at 968 kg/person.

Recycling all of your home’s waste newsprint, cardboard, glass, and metal can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 400 kg a year. Landfill sites account for about 38% of Canada’s total methane emissions. Methane is 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Hazardous materials are dangerous to humans, wildlife and to our environment, especially if not used, stored or disposed of properly.

Alberta Environment recognizes that fluorescent bulbs are an environmental and waste management issue and encourages all Albertans to divert fluorescent bulbs from the landfills or to other end-of-life management options such as recycling. Most lights contain mercury and no viable replacement has been found for mercury, an essential component in fluorescent lights.

An estimated 80 per cent of material sent to landfills in Alberta can be recovered through composting (organics) and recycling (paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, glass).

During the first 15 years of burial in a landfill, only 25 per cent of organic material such as food and yard waste decomposes. Other trash can keep its original weight, volume, and form for at least 40 years.

Non Residential includes construction, renovation and demolition waste and industrial, commercial and institutional waste that is responsible for generating 66% of the total waste to our landfills.

Residential includes (non-hazardous) solid waste produced by residences that is picked up by the municipality (either using its own staff or through contracting firms) or self-hauled to depots, transfer stations, and disposal facilities is responsible for generating 34% of the total waste in our landfills.