The City of Edmonton is calling on residents to reduce the amount of waste they generate by 20 per cent over the next 25 years as a first step toward zero waste.
In releasing Roadmap ’24 on Thursday, the city laid out 10 actions that it will be implementing over the next three years to reduce waste including single-use plastics. The goal by 2024 is for Edmontonians to stabilize waste generation with no net growth before the 20 per cent reduction by the end of the city’s 25-year waste strategy. From 2019 to 2020, waste per person increased to 386 kilograms from 362 kilograms.
Jodi Goebel, the city’s waste strategy director, said this goes above diverting waste from the landfill and is focused on limiting the amount of waste produced in the first place. Waste reduction reduces the consumption of natural resources, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the cost of collecting and processing waste.
The city is in the process of launching its source-separated waste collection program to residential homes, but Goebel said that only goes so far.
“Waste reduction is really about changing habits at the front end in terms of the way that we buy things, the way that we use things and the way that we reuse things,” she said. “We’re aware of a strong desire from residents to take action on the global issue of waste reduction by doing more than just sorting and managing waste properly. This roadmap will make it easier and really help to support Edmontonians to take meaningful impact in their day-to-day lives to reduce waste.”
One of the main actions will be the creation of a bylaw to restrict single-use plastics that will be coordinated with the impending federal ban on certain plastic items and the province’s planned extended producer responsibility framework. Sarah Wilmot, waste policy planner with the city, said the bylaw will be developed by early next year after there are more details on the action taken by senior levels of government.
“We’re trying very hard to work in the context of changes that are happening at the federal and provincial level to ensure what we do as the city are complimentary to upcoming federal regulations and a proposed new framework from the provincial government,” she said. “When the federal government announced that they were going to be banning single-use plastics, we wanted to make sure that we were aligned with what they were doing and not duplicating that work or having conflicting regulations.”