Leading Calgary to zero waste

We're serious about recycling and composting, and have set ambitious goals to reduce waste going to our landfills. Our vision is to lead the community towards zero waste through innovative recycling, composting and diversion programs.

In 2015, City of Calgary Council approved a revised target of 70 per cent waste diversion by 2025 averaged across all four sectors – single and multi-family residential, business and organizations, and construction and demolition. For the full details, see the Council minutes.

We have set specific diversion targets for each sector:

  • Single family – 70 per cent
  • Multi-family – 65 per cent
  • Business and organizations (Industrial, Commercial and Institutional) – 75 per cent
  • Construction and demolition – 40 per cent

Background of our waste diversion strategy

Our revised target of 70 per cent waste diversion overall by 2025 extends the original timeline by five years. We have taken steps to increase recycling, composting and other diversion in all sectors.

Those include amendments to the Waste and Recycling Bylaw requiring multi-family residences as well as businesses and organizations (the industrial, commercial and institutional sector) to recycle. We’re also revisiting our strategy for construction and demolition waste.

Once all the recycling and diversion programs are in place and all efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle have been explored, we plan to revisit the possibility of using waste-to-energy technology to deal with any left-over materials.

We know such facilities are expensive and many of the technologies are still not commercially viable. Calgary can learn from other cities before we recommend a significant investment.