Alberta Recycling Management Authority
The Alberta Recycling Management Authority is a not-for-profit association responsible for managing Alberta’s tire and electronics recycling programs. Known simply as “Alberta Recycling,” the organization reports to the Minister of Environment and is run by a Board of Directors representing many stakeholder groups.
The Alberta Recycling Management Authority is a not-for-profit association responsible for managing Alberta’s tire, electronics and paint recycling programs. Known simply as “Alberta Recycling,” the organization reports to the Minister of Environment and is run by a Board of Directors representing many stakeholder groups.
Committed to a cleaner future
Originally established in 1992 to manage the province’s tire recycling program, Alberta Recycling has since evolved to include Tire Recycling Alberta, Electronics Recycling Alberta and, as of April 1, 2008, Paint Recycling Alberta. These programs, operated under separate divisions are funded by Advance Disposal fees collected at the time of sale of eligible products such as new passenger car and truck tires, new TVs and computers, or paint. Through the success of these significant provincial recycling programs, Alberta Recycling has demonstrated the clear and direct benefit of multi-material administration by applying consistent policies and procedures for environmental stewardship and through improved efficiencies cost effectiveness.
Committed to environmental outcomes
More than ever, Alberta Recycling programs are recognized as some of the best recycling programs in Canada and around the world. Tire recycling initiatives created by Albertans have contributed to the development of new, innovative end-uses for recycled tires and given life to a sustainable tire-recycling industry in Alberta that exports to the world. Alberta’s electronics recycling program, the first of its kind in Canada, ensures televisions and computer equipment are recycled in an economic and environmentally sound manner.The end result? Albertans and the environment benefit from these programs.
Committed to accountability
Alberta Recycling is accountable to the Government of Alberta and to Albertans for the management of environmental fees and the environmental results they achieve through its electronics and tire recycling programs. To ensure accountability, the organization’s strategic business plan aligns directly to the mission, core businesses and waste minimization goals of Alberta Environment and the Government of Alberta.
A sustainable recycling solution for designated materials that is a model of excellence, environmentally responsible, and economically viable.
Alberta Recycling will carry out its delegated mandate to manage revenues to achieve high environmental outcomes in respect of each designated material:
- By being fully accountable to the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, the Government of Alberta, Alberta Recycling members, industry and Albertans;
- By ensuring that, under its programs, all requirements for environmental, health and safety standards are met, and that all companies and activities so funded strive to exceed these requirements and operate as models of excellence in environmental, health and safety standards;
- By openly communicating Alberta Recycling policies, strategies and results;
- By educating the public about and encouraging them to utilize Alberta Recycling's programs;
- By funding research and development activities related to recycling or management of the designated materials.
- By ensuring that the organization operates as a model of environmental excellence.
Alberta Recycling has identified key goals and strives to meet annual performance measures in each recycling program:
Electronics Recycling Alberta
- E1 Program surcharge and funding rates are appropriate and effectively managed to ensure the sustainability of the program.
- E2 All electronics are collected and processed.
- E3 Electronics are processed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
- E4 There is strong awareness and support for the electronics recycling program.
- E5 There is strong participation in the collection of electronics for recycling under the program.
Paint Recycling Alberta
- P1 Program surcharge and funding rates are appropriate and effectively managed to ensure the sustainability of the program.
- P2 All paint and paint containers are collected and processed.
- P3 Paint and paint containers are recycled in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
- P4 There is strong awareness and support for the paint recycling program.
- P5 There is strong participation in the collection of paint for recycling under the program.
HHW Contract Goal: Effectively manage the agreement with Alberta Environment to administer funding under the Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program.
Tire Recycling Alberta
- T1 Program surcharge and funding rates are appropriate and effectively managed to ensure the sustainability of the program.
- T2 All scrap tires are collected and processed.
- T3 Scrap tires are processed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.
- T4 There is strong awareness and support for the tire recycling program.
- T5 Alberta communities benefit from tire recycling.
Why should we recycle?
We believe strongly in the 5”R’s” of environmental stewardship: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Recycle, Recycle. We say this because we manage 3 recycling programs that are helping reduce waste in Alberta: Electronics, Tires and Paint. Everyone knows recycling is good for the environment, but how much difference does it really make? Read on!
Protect the environment
Discarded products like scrap tires and end-of-use TVs and computers pose a number of risks to the health of our environment, and ourselves. Tires do not break down in landfills, taking up space and collecting water, which can be a breeding ground for disease carrying insects. Electronics and paints can contain chemicals like mercury, lead, flame retardants that leach into the ground and contaminate ground water.
Save natural resources
Most of what we throw away is made from materials that are becoming scarce and expensive to produce. By remanufacturing products from recycled materials, instead of raw materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to use up precious natural resources.
It generally takes less energy to make recycled products, than new products. The by-products of many recycled goods can also be used to produce alternative fuels, further reducing the need to use natural resources.
Save landfill space
Simply put, the materials you recycle don't take up valuable landfill space. Albertans have saved well over $200 million tax dollars by diverting old scrap tires and discarded TVs and computers from landfills.
The recycling process creates jobs. People are needed at every step in the process, from collection and transportation to processing, ensuring the safe and responsible handling of these products. Alberta’s recycling industry employs hundreds of people throughout the province.
Where does it all start? And where does it all end up? Learn more about recycling lifecycles and find out how Alberta’s recycling programs turn the things we trash into new products.
Whether it’s a scrap tire, an old computer or TV, or a can of unwanted paint, recycling turns your old stuff into new products and saves it from the landfill.
Electronic waste, or e-waste is a growing concern around the world. In fact, e-waste is the fastest growing waste stream. This is because technology is evolving at such a rapid rate that it is often easier and less costly to simply replace that old TV or computer than to fix it. The problem is most electronic devices contain materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium and flame retardants that can be hazardous to the health of our environment and ourselves.
The problem reaches beyond our landfills. Increasingly, we are becoming aware of the growing problem of illegal “dumping” of old computers and TV’s in developing countries. This is a hazardous by-product of our inability to address the potential problems of waste electronics much earlier. With tonnes of electronics being shipped to the developing world to be scavenged for precious metals, we need to take action to ensure none of our retired electronics end up in this waste stream. Simply bringing electronics to municipal collection sites ensures that your old units will be processed safely and responsibly.
What is collected?
Televisions and computer equipment are collected for recycling at municipal collection sites throughout Alberta. Click here for the list of products that can be recycled under Alberta’s electronics recycling program.
How are electronics processed?
Electronics are processed within Alberta by our 6 registered processors (a list is available here). The components are broken down, or disassembled into much smaller pieces, which are then reduced to commodity state (plastics, metals and glass) for eventually reuse. The hazardous materials found in electronics are removed and handled in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
What it becomes
Televisions and computers contain a number of valuable materials that can be broken down and reused. The steel, aluminum and copper metal found in the wires, cables and circuitry is used as feedstock for new products. The glass from television and computer screens is melted down, separating the lead, and reused in the manufacture of new products. The plastic from the cases, keyboards and mouse are processed to produce plastic flakes or pellets used to make new consumer products.
By recycling old tires, Albertans do a lot to help protect the environment. Along with being an eyesore, discarded scrap tires pose a number of potential health risks to people and the environment. This waste product is actually a useful and valuable material for the increasing rubber recycling industry in Alberta.
Every type of passenger car and truck tire is accepted into the tire recycling program. The over 5 million tires Albertans discard every year are diverted from landfills, shredded and put to good use once again as new products.
How tires are processed
Once scrap tires are collected they are shipped to registered scrap tire processors across the province (a listing of these companies is here). Once there, the tires are shredded and the metal is removed. Rubber shred can be further ground to a “crumb” state for remanufacturing.
What it becomes
Recycled rubber from processed scrap tires has a number of new uses, including:
- Lining for landfills, replacing expensive washed rock
- Safer playground surfaces
- Landscaping tiles
- Livestock mattresses and mats
- Roofing tiles and other building products
- Whatever innovative Albertans will think of next!
Albertans have always been able to take paint in to their hazardous household waste roundups for disposal. Most paints are actually recyclable. Latex can be remade into new latex, even if it has been frozen. Oil based paints can be used to produce other products such as fuels. Only a very small amount of the paints we use need to be disposed of as hazardous waste because they contain contaminants such as pesticides, leads and other solvents.
What paint is collected?
The list of eligible paints is available here. Most household paints, varnishes and stains are accepted in the program. Paint aerosols are also accepted. Solvents and paints with other chemicals added are not eligible. Non eligible paints can still be brought in to your local hazardous waste roundup.
How is Paint processed?
Alberta’s registered paint processors (a list is available here) collect the paint from the municipal collection sites, and also from commercial painting companies, and haul them to processing sites where the paint is separated and processed. As with electronics, some processing of paint and paint containers is handled by downstream processors. Alberta Recycling audits and approves every step in the processing stream.
What it becomes
Paint, for the most part, becomes paint. Oil based paint is most often used in fuel mixes to provide alternative fuel sources. Aerosol containers, paint cans and plastic pails are recycled as metals and plastics.
Environmentally conscious purchasers now have the option of using recycled paint, which will help reduce the growing supply of waste paint.