Waste and recycling legislation
Alberta produces many wastes requiring management. Depending on the type of waste and how it is generated, transported and processed, it may be subject to one or more pieces of local, provincial or Federal legislation.
Environment and Protected Areas is the provincial ministry responsible for how wastes and recyclables are managed in Alberta. The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) is most relevant to waste and enables waste and recycling regulations. A figure to the right shows the hierarchy of how requirements are enabled.
Provided below are links to waste and recycling legislation specific to our ministry. Regulations listed below are enabled under EPEA.
- Activities Designation Regulation
- Beverage Container Recycling Regulation
- Designated Material Recycling and Management Regulation
- Electronics Designation Regulation
- Lubricating Oil Material Designation Regulation
- Paint and Paint Container Designation Regulation
- Tire Designation Regulation
- Waste Control Regulation
Codes of practice
The following codes of practice are provided for waste management facilities that are eligible for registration as described by the Activities Designation Regulation.
- Code of Practice for Compost Facilities
- Code of Practice for Energy Recovery
- Code of Practice for Land Treatment of Soil Containing Hydrocarbons
- Code of Practice for Landfills
- Code of Practice for Small Incinerators
While some small select waste facilities can register under one of the above codes, others will require an EPEA approval.
Standards, guides and manuals
The following guidelines and standards apply to waste management facilities.
- Action Leakage Rate Guideline
- Alberta Landfill and Composting Facility Operator Certification Guideline
- Alberta Transfer Station Technical Guidance Manual
- Alberta User Guide for Waste Managers
- Beneficial Use of Waste
- Continuing Education Unit Policy
- Guidelines for the Disposal of Asbestos Waste
- Guidelines for Landfill Disposal of Sulphur Waste and Remediation of Sulphur Containing Soils
- Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclables
- Hazardous Waste Storage Guidelines
- Industrial Waste Identification and Management Options
- Landfill Operator Certification Study Guide
- Leaf and Yard Waste Composting Manual
- Mid-Scale Composting Manual
- Monthly Waste Inventory Report by Class – Sample (PDF, 86 KB)
- Monthly Waste Inventory Report by Material – Sample (PDF, 88 KB)
- Snow Disposal Guidelines for the Province of Alberta
- Standards for Composting Facilities in Alberta
- Standards for Landfills in Alberta
- Storing and Disposing of Hazardous Waste and Recyclables
Acceptable industry practices and fact sheets
Some wastes have material-specific legislation for their characterization and environmentally protective management. Below are some facts sheets for specific wastes that provide additional clarity on how they must be managed.
- Aerosol Cans
- Beneficial Use of Waste
- Cannabis Waste Management
- Car Wash Sump Wastes
- Chemically Treated Wood Waste
- Coal Ash
- COVID-19 pandemic planning for the waste sector : business continuity planning for waste management facilities
- COVID-19 Waste (PDF, 121 KB)
- Designation of Leachable Wastes in Alberta (former TDGR Classes 9)
- Disposal of Asbestos Waste
- Disposal of Biomedical Waste
- Disposal of Treated Seed
- Hydrovac Waste
- Importation of Hazardous Recyclables
- Industrial Sump and Pit Wastes
- Management of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
- Management of Mercury Dental Amalgam
- Management of Used Car Lube Oils, Filters and Empty Containers
- Management of Used Mercury Vapour Lamps and Mercury Containing Articles
- Paint Waste Management
- Quality of Treated Waste or Contaminated Soil Used as Intermediate Cover at Class II Landfills
- Used Oil as Dust Suppressant
The department has created or assisted in the preparation of the following valuable resources to further educate Albertans on responsible waste management.
- A full Costs Analysis Guide for Municipal Waste Managers
- Alberta Plastic Bag Distribution Reduction Strategy - Annual Report for 2012-2013 (PDF, 493 KB)
- Benchmarking Evaluation of DAO Stewardship Programs in Alberta
- Construction, Renovation and Demolition Waste Materials: Opportunities for Waste Reduction and Diversion
- Design for Environment (DfE) Opportunities within Alberta's Waste Stewardship Programs
- Genuine Wealth Assessment of Alberta's Stewardship Programs
- Leaf and Yard Waste Diversion Strategy Feasibility Study Final Report
- Leaf & Yard Waste Diversion Targets in Alberta: A Benefit Cost Analysis
- Municipal Compost Use in Alberta: A Report on Survey Results
- Proposed Designated Materials Recycling Regulation Consultation Workbook Feedback Summary Report
- Review of LCAs on Organics Management Methods & Development of an Environmental Hierarchy
- Vermicomposting to Reduce Kitchen Waste
Waste data is collected annually to track the amount of municipal solid waste going to landfills per capita and is published in the department’s annual report.
- Backyard Composting to Reduce Organic Waste
- Saving the World Begins at Home
- Taking Action Through Backyard Composting to Reduce Household Waste
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