Landmark agreement means less construction waste in landfills

Government of Alberta – News Release:
Agreement first of its kind in Canada
October 23, 2008 – Alberta will begin to recycle construction and demolition waste, eventually eliminating it from landfills, following a new landmark agreement among the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Construction Association and the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta.
“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,” said Diana McQueen, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment. “When implemented, the program will support Alberta’s Too Good to Waste strategy, and will be the first of its kind in Canada making Alberta a leader in waste reduction in the construction and demolition sector.”
During construction, the average home generates four to seven tonnes of waste, and construction and demolition waste make up 23 per cent of the waste stream. The agreement between the Government of Alberta and the construction industry sets out a timeline to create a provincial stewardship program that will deal with this waste stream.
“The Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta and its members have a long and successful track record of environmental stewardship as demonstrated by our Built Green program. We feel this recent waste diversion initiative collaboratively worked on with the Alberta government will further complement what our industry members are doing, as well as encourage additional recycling opportunities,” said Michael Nyikes, Director of Safety and Technical Services for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Alberta.
Bernal Ulsifer, Chairman, Alberta Construction Association, strongly supports the direction of this strategy. “Alberta’s construction industry seeks to improve environmental sustainability of our operations including reducing waste to landfill. This stewardship program has the potential to encourage an increase in capacity of recyclers, which is currently a constraint. A province-wide approach will reduce the costs of compliance as builders will not have to learn a different regime for every community in which they operate.”
Once implemented, a construction and demolition stewardship program would increase recycling of many building materials, including concrete, asphalt, wood and drywall and prevent them from clogging Alberta’s landfills. The program should be complete by 2010.
For more information about this or Alberta’s other stewardship programs, please visit
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Kim Capstick
Alberta Environment
To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.
Ken Gibson
Executive Director
Alberta Construction Association
Michael Nyikes
Director of Safety & Technical Services
Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Alberta
Toll Free: 1-877-239-5447

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