The Government of Alberta has released new details on Extended Producer Responsibility
The Government of Alberta is currently working on developing an Extended Producer Responsibility Framework (EPR) that will create province-wide industry-led systems for managing single-use plastics, packaging, and paper products, as well as hazardous and special products like household pesticides and solvents. It is important to note that the EPR framework does not include the beverage container deposit system, which will continue to run as is. The EPR framework will reduce the burden of waste management on municipalities by providing a single, consistent, province-led system that ensures efficient and effective collection and processing. A regulatory framework for EPR is anticipated to be developed in Spring 2022.
In Spring 2021, Alberta Environment and Parks
(AEP) held EPR engagement sessions with stakeholders to help inform the creation of an EPR framework. On November 15, 2021, AEP released its What We Heard
document. It summarizes the key findings received to date to inform an EPR framework in Alberta and serves as an update to stakeholders and Albertans on the progress towards an EPR Framework. The RMA participated in these engagement sessions and advocated for an EPR program that has a comparable level of service at a comparable cost in urban municipalities and rural municipalities. The service method and service level may differ due to the cost challenges of servicing large and sparsely-populated areas, but an effective EPR model must make recycling available in a way that is reasonably accessible to rural residents.
On November 15 2021, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 83: Environmental Protection and Enhancement Amendment Act
as a first step towards establishing an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) framework in Alberta. The legislation does not implement an EPR system but allows for exemptions in future regulations for specific materials and activities. The purpose of this bill is to signal to municipalities and organizations that the Government of Alberta is moving forward on creating an EPR framework. At the RMA 2019 Fall Convention, the RMA membership passed Resolution 13-19F: Provincial Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations
. This resolution called for the RMA to join the advocacy campaign to encourage the Government of Alberta to implement EPR. If Bill 83 receives Royal Assent, this will be a win for the RMA membership as it will clear the way for the implementation of an EPR program in Spring 2022. The RMA will continue to update members on the progress of an EPR program in Alberta.
Household Hazardous Waste Program Update
Until the EPR program is in place, AEP will continue to provide funding support to the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program at the same level provided in 2020 - 2021. The Alberta Recycling Management Authority
(ARMA) has been working with HHW collectors to identify other facilities for material treatment and destruction and will continue to manage the program on AEP’s behalf. ARMA is seeking initiatives that will help reduce the cost burden on municipalities for HHW, and RMA will continue to update members on new initiatives.
Manager of Policy & Advocacy