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Waste diversion strategy for businesses and organizations


Calgary businesses and organizations produce one third of all the waste going to City landfills. Of this, 88 per cent isn't garbage. It includes paper, cardboard, food and other easily divertible materials.

The City of Calgary spent two years working with industry stakeholders to develop a strategy to divert waste. The stakeholders included recycling providers, building owners, industries, commercial establishments, institutions, haulers, environmental non-government organizations (eNGOs) and representatives from the Alberta government.

Together, they determined constraints to waste diversion, suggested possible actions, provided feedback on timelines and determined what role The City of Calgary should play.

What's in effect?

November 1, 2017

Businesses and organizations required to divert food and yard waste

A bylaw amendment is now in effect that requires businesses and organizations to separate food and yard waste for diversion. Diversion can include a variety of different measures such as composting, supply management, donation opportunities or anaerobic digestion.

The City will provide education and resources to help businesses get started. Businesses can choose the food and yard waste collection company that best suits their needs and decide how to manage the service.

For more details, please view food and yard waste requirements for businesses and organizations.

November 1, 2016

Businesses and organizations required to recycle

Businesses and organizations in Calgary are required to recycle the same materials we do at home, plus scrap metal, clear plastic film (polyethylene) and wood.

For more details, see the recycling requirements for businesses and organizations.

February 1, 2016

Higher landfill fees for paper and cardboard

Commercial loads containing paper and cardboard are subject to the Designated Materials Rate of $170 per tonne compared to $113 per tonne for garbage (based on 2017 rates).

Upcoming changes and impacts

October 1, 2018*

Paper and cardboard ban

Effective Oct. 1, 2018 paper and cardboard materials will be banned from City of Calgary landfills. The ban applies to all commercial vehicle loads.

If banned material is discovered when the load is being dumped at the face of the landfill, the hauler will pay a higher charge for the entire load. The charge will be significantly more than the designated material rate that is already in place.

For more details, please see paper and cardboard landfill ban.

* The specific charge will be set in 2018 and communicated in advance.

October 1, 2018*

Increasing landfill fees for food and yard waste

Commercial vehicle loads containing any food and yard waste will be subject to a higher designated materials rate at City landfills to encourage food and yard waste diversion.

* The cost of the fee is subject to Council approval.