+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 11-18S

Recycling of Solar Panels

March 20, 2018
Expiry Date:
April 1, 2021
Active Status:
MD of Foothills
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Sent to Government
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has deemed it to be in the best interests of its citizens to create recycling programs for items such as tires, plastic containers, electronics, etc. and

WHEREAS solar panels are now reaching a point where replacement is required; and

WHEREAS the materials and elements used in the construction of solar panels can be hazardous or could be recycled but at a significant cost;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) request that the Government of Alberta expand existing recycling programs to include solar panels (photovoltaic modules).

Member Background:

It appears that the State of Washington is taking the lead regarding the issue and has passed the Solar Incentives Job Bill (ESSB 5939) of which Section 12 states the following:

The legislature finds that a convenient, safe, and environmentally sound system for the recycling of photovoltaic modules, minimization of hazardous waste, and recovery of commercially valuable materials must be established. The legislature further finds that the responsibility for this system must be shared among all stakeholders, with manufacturers financing the take back and recycling system.

The industry in Alberta is nowhere near as mature as the one in Washington, but it would be prudent to create a program early on and not when significant costs would have to be borne by the taxpayer.

RMA Background:

7-15F: Agriculture Plastics Recycling

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that Alberta Environment and Parks develop a recycling program to provide for the collection and recycling of agricultural plastics in Alberta.

DEVELOPMENTS: The AAMDC believes that a coordinated, province-wide approach to end of life management for agriculture plastics is the most effective means of limiting the amount of agriculture plastics that end up in landfills. Currently, some rural municipalities have provided recycling options for this material, but due to its large size and limited recycling options, these programs are beyond the capacity of most municipalities.

The AAMDC has been collaborating with other municipal associations, AAMDC members, and with the Recycling Council of Alberta to explore options used in other provinces and will continue to identify opportunities for advocacy alignment. In recent months, the AAMDC has made progress with Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in emphasizing the need for an agriculture plastics program and anticipates that discussions will continue moving in a positive direction.  Until a coordinated recycling program is developed, this resolution is assigned a status of Intent Not Met. The AAMDC will continue to work with other stakeholders and advocate for the formation of a program to enable the recycling of agriculture plastics.

Provincial Ministries:
Environment and Parks
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