RMWB spends $3 million on recycling but not all items will make it

Through direct and indirect costs of recycling, the RMWB spends just over $3 million a year on recycling. Included in the costs are:

  • curbside recycling and collections
  • recycling depots and collections
  • corporate recycling and collections
  • processing at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF)
  • transportation to markets in Edmonton

Curbside collection of recyclables in the RMWB is $14/month, which is included in your home’s utility bill, with the other recycling programs supported by the Municipal tax base.

The RMWB completed a Waste Composition Study to help understand the type of waste and recycling they receive in the curbside collection program.

  • 93 per cent of ‘paper and cardboard’ recycling stream was made up of paper, with little cross contamination of the products.
  • 29 per cent of material collected in the ‘tins and plastics’ recycling stream was recyclable.

Materials such as pots and pans, bed frames, scrap metal, air mattresses, electronics, grocery bags and plastic film were found in the ‘tins and plastic’ recycling stream, and are deemed non-recyclable for that category, but can still be brought to the landfill for appropriate handling.

You can learn more about sorting the recycling on the RMWB’s website.

Glass is not recycled at the landfill in the RMWB due to safety reasons, and can be placed in your black curbside collection bin as regular household waste.

Once collected, recycling is brought to the MRF at the landfill to be sorted, baled and redirected.

Recyclables that are sorted improperly by the home owner, or contaminated with food or non-recyclable material will not be able to be processed and sent to the landfill.

According to the RMWB, the open market plays an important role in their recycling process, and they attempt to recycle the material they receive on the open market to recover some of the costs to provide recycling services.

The RMWB states due to the market fluctuating, there are often factors out of their control that dictate what type of recyclables can be sold back to market.

When items are pending an available market, they often get diverted to the landfill for disposal.

Currently the RMWB has markets for mixed paper and carboards, which get sent to Edmonton for recycling. Drink containers are sent to a local container recycler in the region.

The RMWB notes that while some recyclables are pending an available market, it is still very important to continue to sort and recycle as their team is continuously working to seek out new markets for recycling materials.

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