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Evansland - NW Calgary sorting facility Open and Now Accepting Mixed Construction Waste & Sorted Materials

Alberta Waste and Recycling
Posted: November 4, 2012

Our new Evansland sorting facility in NW Calgary is now open and operating; this NW facility will reduce customer haul time and cost.

Builder Waste Clogs landfills as Alberta Recycling
Initiative Stalls

Written by Kelly Cryderman, Calgary Herald
Photograph by: Colleen De Neve, Calgary Herald

Alberta Waste and Recycling president Dan Zembal, seen on August 13, 2010, stood amidst some of the construction and demolition waste brought to the facility he runs. He and others have concerns the provincial government is not moving fast enough to implement a stewardship program, even though the waste makes up to a quarter of what goes into Alberta landfills.

"If all the space is taken up in landfills, where do you site the next landfill?" said Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce.

"The most important thing we can do is protect landfills for the use of things that simply cannot be recycled," she said. "So much of construction waste can be recycled."

Beginning in 1999, the province became focused on raising awareness and encouraging voluntary changes in how the construction industry handles its trash. However, the amount of construction and demolition waste continued to increase throughout the past decade.

In 2006, Statistics Canada reported Alberta had the highest per capita landfill rates in the country -- at more than 1,100 kilograms of waste per person, per year. Alberta's booming economy and record construction levels played a major role, but the government decided there was still room for improvement. The government estimates as little as 10 per cent of all construction and demolition waste is now recycled.

The government said it would introduce a system of refundable deposits, with up-front fees based on the square footage of the structure being built. Under the proposed system -- which the government says is similar to beverage and tire recycling programs -- refunds would be based on how much materials companies divert from the dump.

MLA Cal Dallas, the parliamentary assistant to the environment minister, said the legislation to get the system up and running is still a priority for the government. However, he can't say whether a bill will be introduced this fall, as the legislative agenda is under development.

"That process is still underway," Dallas said last week.

The Red Deer-South MLA said reducing the amount of waste Albertans produce is still a key environmental goal. He noted that because smaller centres do not all have the necessary private recycling facilities, the government is contemplating whether the program could be phased in first in Edmonton and Calgary.

The fact that timing for the recycling program still remains uncertain doesn't sit well with many.

"It needs that push by legislation to create a level playing field," said Dan Zembal, owner of Alberta Waste and Recycling, and past president of the Recycling Council of Alberta.

Zembal's company recycles construction waste and he acknowledges he will benefit from the proposed changes. However, he said he's genuinely concerned by the amount of waste that ends up in Alberta landfills.

Zembal said he believes economic uncertainty has shifted the government's attention from environmental issues. "If it became a higher priority, then it would be moved up" on the legislature's agenda for the fall, he said.

Despite a lack of action on the provincial front, municipalities have launched a number of homegrown programs.

Paula Magdich of the City of Calgary's waste and recycling services, said since last November, the city has increased landfill charges for the dumping of "designated" materials, such as concrete, metal or asphalt, that are readily processed by private recycling facilities.

"Economics is an important factor for how people manage their waste," Magdich said.

She said combined with other programs, including a pilot recycling project at the Spyhill Landfill, the city is significantly reducing the amount of materials going into the landfill. "So, good things are happening," Magdich said.

Industry players who supported the government's move toward the waste reduction program two years ago, such as the Alberta Construction Association and the Canadian Home Builders' Association, still approve of a deposit and refund system.

"We all know we have to do it. We all know we have to reduce the amount of waste going into the dump," said Deep Shergill, president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Home Builders' Association.

kcryderman@theherald.canwest.com
Copyright © The Calgary Herald

Construction & Demolition Waste Reduction Program

Government of Alberta, environment.alberta.ca

Construction and demolition (C&D) waste accounts for about 25 per cent of the total amount of municipal solid waste sent to landfill in Alberta. The volume of C&D waste keeps increasing each year.

It is estimated that no more than 10 per cent of all C&D waste materials are currently being recycled, even though recycling markets are available to divert much of these materials. A provincial C&D waste reduction program will help provide incentive for people to reduce, reuse and recycle more C&D materials


Click to Read Full Report...

Resource Recovery Depot

Article by Alex Frazer-Harrison, Airdrie Life
Photograph by Kristy Reimer.

Where some might see a pile of waste lumber and drywall, Dan Zembal sees compost, paving material, even fertilizer. Airdrie leads by example in recycling building products last spring, Alberta Waste and Recycling opened its first Resource Recovery Depot at the old landfill site west of Airdrie.

"There was an existing landfill from days gone by that's been closed for years; it had been converted into a transfer site a number of years ago by the City of Airdrie," explains Zembal, president of the company. This transfer site was intended to supplement Airdrie's recycling depot as a place to handle larger-item recycling and waste, he says."We said we could compliment that further by adding construction material to be recycled."

The Resource Recovery Depot features a series of bunkers--constructed in part from the remnants of a demolished bridge that was found in the landfill--for containing refuse from construction, renovation and demolition projects in the area, including wood, drywall/gypsum, asphalt shingles and other materials.

After preliminary processing, they are transferred to other processing facilities to be recycled. For example, wood can be used as mulch or as the fibre base for asphalt shingles, Zembal explains. Drywall can become a soil amendment component for agriculture.

Each year, more than a quarter of Alberta's municipal solid waste--some 600,000 tonnes--comes from construction and demolition, and it's estimated 80 per cent of this could be recycled. Instead, much of it ends up in landfills.

Alberta Waste and Recycling aims to follow its Airdrie facility with others in the region, to give builders and individuals a place to take most of their waste so it can be recycled rather than filling the landfills.

"We're making a dent," says Zembal. "We're aiming at [processing] upwards of 1,000 tonnes a month--right now we're at 500 and we’re increasing. All of this would have been in the landfill."

Zembal says there are other advantages to choosing his facility over a landfill. Processing fees are less, for one, and for builders in Airdrie, Cochrane and region, the site off Highway 567, six kilometres from Airdrie, is more convenient than accessing Calgary landfills.

"We're getting used by everyone from the littlest guy with one truck to the biggest waste haulers," says Zembal. "We won't accept material that doesn't have long-term sustainable use through recycling," Zembal says, "but I'm confident I'll never have a pile of wood or a pile of drywall I can't recycle." Zembal says.

 

Recycling plan targets construction waste: Builders will pay for failing to recycle

Article by Jason Markusoff, Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, October 23, 2008

In a bid to reduce the tons of debris home builders and construction crews send annually to the landfill, the Alberta government and industry groups will announce today they are developing a program that makes companies pay if they don't recycle construction or demolition materials.

Officials familiar with the plan said some crucial details aren't figured out yet, including the costs and how the system will be enforced. But those in the recycling sector said it's good that construction groups are agreeing to get serious about diverting waste from the dumps.

"They want to get involved in this, as opposed to being told what to do," said Dan Zembal, past president of the Recycling Council of Alberta.

Rather than copying Ontario's system of penalties, or British Columbia's bans on sending certain materials to landfills, Alberta will adopt a deposit and refund system, which has been long discussed by Alberta Environment, recycling groups and industry players.

When firms apply for development permits for homes or non-residential buildings, they will be required to also provide a waste management plan and a deposit that will likely be based on a project's square footage.

The amount of deposit that gets refunded will be based on how much of the drywall, wood and other materials isn't sent to landfills.

Currently, less than 10 per cent of construction or demolition waste is diverted from dumps in Alberta, although green advocates say industry can recycle or reuse far more. Canmore currently

keeps 60 per cent of the waste out of landfills. While many cities are ready to handle far more materials through recycling, smaller communities might not be ready yet.

"In the rural areas, there's issues with not having enough infrastructure or opportunities to recycle, so we don't want to create a program that pressures people to illegally dump their material because they have nowhere else to take it," said Leanne Michie of EnerVision, an agency that encourages green home-building and helps companies find places to divert or recycle materials.

Alberta's landfills swelled by 1,100 kilograms of waste per person in 2006, more than any other province, Statistics Canada reported in June.

Led by business and industrial waste sources, the province's waste had risen by 24.1 per cent over 2004 -- five times Alberta's population growth, the report estimated. Meanwhile, Alberta ranks fifth nationally in the amount of waste diverted per capita from the landfill.

The possible start date for the new waste-management project is said to be 2010. The government is announcing the strategy a day after it said it would hike deposit fees for drink containers, in another bid to boost recycling and ease pressures on Alberta's fast-growing dumps.

A spokeswoman for Alberta Environment would not confirm the province's plans.

Deposit would cut construction waste: Province to announce new program today to reduce debris clogging landfills

Article by Hanneke Brooymans, The Edmonton Journal
Thursday, October 23, 2008

EDMONTON - The provincial government will announce a first step today toward substantially reducing the amount of construction waste going to landfills.

The government is expected to begin consulting home builders, haulers and recyclers on a system that would require builders to make a deposit before beginning construction. The refund to the company could depend on how much construction waste the company diverted from landfills.

Alberta Environment officials have publicly mulled the deposit-refund system during meetings with homebuilders associations. Alberta Environment parliamentary assistant Diana McQueen has previously mentioned a possible disposal ban for certain recyclable items. Another idea includes using unclaimed deposits to fund waste-reduction research.

Construction waste takes up a lot of space in landfills, and is the fastest growing waste-producing sector. In 2006, more than 860,000 tonnes of it were sent to Alberta landfills.

Industry representatives have some concerns about the size of the up-front deposit, which would likely have to be paid when a building permit is acquired. The amount has to be large enough to get the attention of the homebuilders to make sure they'll recycle, but it can't be so big that it will be cost-prohibitive to projects, they say.

The deposit-refund system could be a boon for the city, which has two facilities set up to receive construction rubble, which it crushes and uses as subgrade under Edmonton's roads, said Blair Buchholtz, the city's general supervisor of aggregate recycling.

"It would increase the amount of rubble coming in to our sites, which in turn would be a benefit for the citizens of Edmonton -- because the more aggregate we can produce and put underneath the roads, that's a way to save 75 per cent on aggregate."

It would save money by replacing aggregate that would otherwise have to be bought and hauled in from out of town.

Buchholtz said the paper trail for the deposit-refund system would need to be worked out so the recycling can be properly tracked and verified.

Each recycler would need to be part of the verification system.

Gary Hinton is keen for the government to proceed with such a plan. Hinton is Edmonton operations manager for Eco Group, a company that composts drywall and wood into a product fit to be a topsoil base.

Business has increased substantially since the company started up in 2006, but he thinks it receives a very small percentage of the waste drywall out there. Still, the company gets 25 calls per day from builders looking into Eco Group's services.

"A lot of the builders are very concerned about the waste going into the landfill," he said.

It helps that there are incentives through an environmental program called Built Green, an industry-driven initiative that promotes green building practices, he said.

The deposit-refund system should also act as a good incentive, said Vivian Manasc, senior principal at Manasc Isaac Architects.

The company already specifies with their contractors that waste needs to be diverted from landfills.

"It's certainly easier in the city of Edmonton than it would be in some of the smaller municipalities around the province," she said.

Manasc agreed that unclaimed deposit funds should be directed to research more uses for recyclable materials.

hbrooymans@thejournal.canwest.com
Copyright © The Edmonton Journal 2008
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Industry, builders ink deal to recycle construction waste

Article by Hanneke Brooymans, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Friday, October 24, 2008

EDMONTON - The homebuilders industry strongly supports the Alberta government's goal of eliminating construction waste from landfills.

By 2010, Alberta Environment intends to have a program in place to begin recycling construction and demolition waste. Details are being worked out with the Alberta Construction Association and Canadian Home Builders' Association-Alberta, which signed an agreement with the province, said Diana McQueen, parliamentary assistant to the environment minister. The announcement was made at PCL's construction site for the Edmonton Clinic South.

The site boasts several large bins that separated waste into large categories, such as wood, metal and miscellaneous. Alberta has the highest rate of waste generated per capita of all the provinces. McQueen said the province wants to at least see 80 per cent of waste recycled. Currently, 80 per cent goes to landfills.

One of the ways to reduce the current practice might involve construction companies making a deposit before they begin a project and then give them a refund based on the weight of the material they recycle, she said.

The negotiation of the deposit needs to be worked out. The amount has to be large enough to get the attention of builders, but not so large as to be ridiculous, said Michael Nyikes, director of safety and technical services for the Canadian Home Builders' Association of Alberta.

If the amount that is eventually set doesn't achieve the desired recycling rates, it could be reconsidered, McQueen said.

Nyikes said the program would probably be more successful if it is legislated.

One issue that will need to be addressed is accessibility of recycling facilities, said Bernal Ulsifer, chairman of the Alberta Construction Association.

Ulsifer said a large recycling facility just opened in Airdrie and another four or five are planned for elsewhere.

McQueen said construction waste is an important sector to target.

"If we divert even 50 per cent of construction and demolition material, the amount we send to landfills would drop by 130 kilograms for each Albertan every year," she said.

Construction of a typical home generates four to seven tonnes of waste, and construction and demolition waste makes up 23 per cent of the garbage going to landfills.

hbrooymans@thejournal.canwest.com
Copyright © The Edmonton Journal 2008
Inside the canada.com Network

Alberta builders applaud new construction recycling program

Article by Hanneke Brooymans, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Thursday, October 23, 2008

EDMONTON - The Alberta government's intention to eventually eliminate construction waste from landfills is strongly supported by the home builders industry which went so far Thursday as to say the program shouldn't be voluntary.

By 2010, Alberta Environment intends to have a program in place to begin recycling construction and demolition waste. The details are being worked out with the Alberta Construction Association and the Canadian Home Builders' Association-Alberta, which signed an agreement with the province, said Diana McQueen, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment, at a press conference today. The announcement was made at PCL's construction site for the Edmonton Clinic South. The site boasted several large bins that separated waste into large categories, such as wood, metal and miscellaneous garbage.

Alberta currently has the highest rate of waste generated per capita of all the provinces. McQueen said the province wants to flip its ratio of 20 per cent of waste being recycled and 80 per cent going to landfill.

One of the ways it might do this is to have construction companies make a deposit before they begin a project and then give them a refund based on the weight of the material they recycle, she said.

The negotiation of the deposit amount is something that needs to be worked out.

The amount has to be large enough to get the attention of builders, but not so large as to be ridiculous, said Michael Nyikes, director of safety and technical services for the Canadian Home Builders' Association of Alberta.

If the amount that is eventually set doesn't achieve the desired recycling rates, it could be reconsidered, McQueen said.

Nyikes said the program would probably be more successful if it is legislated, as opposed to voluntary.

He said he doubts the initiative will have a trickle-down effect on consumers, since the deposit can be recouped. But he wasn't sure what would happen if some builders prove to be more adept at recycling than others.

One issue that will need to be addressed is accessibility of recycling facilities, said Bernal Ulsifer, chairman of the Alberta Construction Association.

"I'm in Lloydminster, and we really don't have anything for recycling construction materials.

"If you start mentioning hauling, you're looking at additional costs," he said.

Ulsifer said a large recycling facility had just opened in Airdrie and another four or five were planned for other locations.

hbrooymans@thejournal.canwest.com
Copyright © The Edmonton Journal 2008
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