Household hazardous waste (HHW) roundups have been a staple in the lives of Albertans for over 30 years as municipalities and Indigenous communities have coached their residents to safely store items such as ammonia, bleach, oven cleaners and aerosol cans etc. to bring to the next roundup or year-round site.
The millions of corrosive, flammable, and poisonous products kept out of Alberta’s landfills or sewer systems through these events/sites is staggering. In the previous three years alone, over 2.2 million kgs of HHW was safely destroyed at the Swan Hills Treatment Centre and over one million aerosol cans were recycled into new industrial metal products.
Since November 2020 ARMA has communicated to municipalities and Indigenous communities the developments surrounding the HHW program and we would like to provide you with an update on the status of this critical program and its future developments.
Alberta Infrastructure secured a new contract for a reduced operating model at the Swan Hills Treatment Centre (the Centre) effective January 1, 2021. Under this reduced operating model, the Centre will only process high concentration Polychlorinated Biphenyls (HCPCBs) and biomedical waste. As part of this reduced operating model, Suez Canada Waste Services Inc., the operator of the Centre, will no longer accept HHW, including on a fee-for-service basis, effective June 1, 2021.
To help ensure there is as little disruption as possible to this important program, ARMA has been working with collectors to source other approved facilities for the collectors to transport your material for treatment and destruction, enabling residents to continue their ingrained habit of bringing their HHW to a local site/roundup.
We are pleased to confirm that Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) will maintain their funding for the material handling and transport of HHW to an approved facility until March 31, 2022 as well as oversight of the program.
Alberta Environment and Parks is conducting public consultation on designing a made-in-Alberta solution for HHW (in addition to packaging and paper products, and plastics). Establishing a permanent HHW program, based on an Extended Producer Responsibility framework, shifts the responsibility for program costs to producers, and away from municipalities and Indigenous communities.
In the interim, funding for the treatment and destruction of HHW will be assumed by municipalities and Indigenous communities (with AEP funding material handling and transport). Please discuss the options that are available to you with the HHW collectors
ARMA is working closely with AEP in the development of an HHW program to ensure continuation of Alberta’s 30-year legacy of care for the environment and we look forward to the advent of a permanent solution.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please email our Director of Operations Brad Schultz at [email protected].