Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI)

Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI)

The Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) is an industry association made up of over 250 member companies in the recycling sector that process, broker, and consume recyclable commodities, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, electronics, paper, rubber, glass, textiles, and plastics. CARI was founded in 1941 at the request of the Canadian government, which sought high-quality scrap metal to support the war effort. CARI has evolved into a powerful industry association representing companies from small family scrap yards to massive capital-intensive processing plants. Members are engaged in the recycling of all commodities, but the majority deal primarily or exclusively in metals. Every activity CARI undertakes is aimed at improving the economic position of our member companies and promoting the recycling industry.

Company details

PO Box 67094 Westboro , Ottawa , Ontario K2A 4E4 Canada


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Business Type:
Professional association
Industry Type:
Waste and Recycling
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)

Our Mission:

To promote the optimal net economic and social impact from commercial recycling activities.

Core Values

The following concepts are central to CARI:

  • Recyclable materials are not waste
  • Recycling is the industry of sustainable development
  • Recycling is an environmental solution
  • Recycling creates jobs
  • Canada should have a national recycling policy
  • Governments should focus on ensuring products are properly designed and on increasing the demand for recycled products, rather than the collection of recyclable materials
  • Governments’ legislation and regulations should be simple, distinguish recyclables from waste, prevent overlap in jurisdictions, and support free trade
Organizational Structure

CARI is made up of active and non-active member companies. Active members are enterprises engaged in the handling, buying and/or selling of recycled materials; non-active members are organizations that support these businesses. CARI members also have the option of forming regional chapters. Our association is governed by a 12-person elected Board of Directors: 10 representatives from active member firms from across Canada, 1 from the non-Canadian members, and the immediate Past Chair. The Board establishes policies and procedures in keeping with CARI’s by-laws, and issues directives to the association staff. Day-to-day activities are undertaken by the Association’s staff. CARI’s chief staff officer is the President and CEO, who oversees the Association’s daily operations and implements the policies set forth by the Board.

Guiding Principles

Each member company of CARI commits to the following guiding principles:

  • Protecting people and the environment together with economic development: sustainable development.
  • Ensuring all employees understand and are able to fulfill their safety and environmental responsibilities.
  • Designing and operating operations based on the efficient use of energy, resources, and materials.
  • Complying with all legal requirements that affect its operations and products.
  • Refraining from making false or misleading statements about its products.
  • Working actively, directly or through the association, with governments and the public to develop equitable and attainable standards.

EPR Policy

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and product stewardship are increasingly popular waste management strategies that use political means to hold producers liable for the costs of managing their products at the end of their life.

Canada officially adopted an EPR strategy in 2009, when the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed a Canada-Wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility. CARI, on behalf of its members, developed its own policy on EPR and product stewardship. CARI decided essentially to support stewardship, but only when it is necessary and always subject to the following five conditions:

  • That the manufacturer and/or initial importer of the product be responsible for end-of-life management costs.
  • That producers focus on designing products to minimize environmental impact and maximize material recovery.
  • That any program be based on the private sector competitive process.
  • That the costs of the program not be listed separately, but be internalized as with any other cost.
  • That any collection system be developed with input from the recycling and waste industries.