Alberta may soon implement an extended producer responsibility framework which would require product manufacturers to incur the cost of recycling or disposing of any waste generated by their product.
The framework is outlined in the province’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Amendment Act, which was brought forward Monday.
“Right now, and for too long, municipalities and taxpayers have been shouldering the burden of collecting, sorting, processing and recycling waste,” Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said in a release. “We’re moving Alberta forward with legislation that will make producers of the waste responsible for the system in a way that creates a big opportunity to diversify the plastics economy.”
If passed, municipalities could save money which is otherwise used to cover waste management expenses.
“Right now, we have a charge for out recycling programs,” Jamie Garland, services manager for the City Assets Department, told the News. “Whatever funding may come from this program would either help offset that (charge) or provide the city a revenue source for other things.”
Garland feels confident that, if passed, the EPEAA would provide financial benefit the city, however he says it’s too early to determine exact numbers.
“We have some pretty robust recycling programs already in the city of Medicine Hat so we’d have to see how those programs fit into this new framework,” said Garland, though he explains Hatters likely won’t be directly affected by the new legislation.
“We’ve been involved with the stakeholder engagement portion of this for the past few years with Alberta recycling and the province, so we’re quite happy to see it’s going this route and it’s looking to get approved,” he said.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News