(Contributed photo).

Red Deer city council asked to join lobby to make companies pay for recycling, not citizens

Calgary city councillor says Albertans are essentially paying twice for recyling

The City of Red Deer will consider joining an Alberta movement to make companies that produce packaging pay for recycling costs — instead of making citizens essentially pay twice.

It all started when Calgary city Coun. Peter Demong pointed out Alberta is among the few Canadian provinces that does not make large producers of consumer products help pay for the cost of recycling the tonnes of packaging they generate.

Canadian Tire, Walmart and other large companies are made to do this in most other parts of the country, so have already incorporated these costs into the price of their products — including goods sold in Alberta.

Demong said this means that Alberta citizens are actually playing twice for recycling — once when they buy a yogurt container or bottle of water, and then again on their municipal waste pickup bills.

“We shouldn’t have to be paying both,” stated Demong, who intends to bring the issue before Calgary city council on Feb. 4.

Kelly Kloss, development services director for the City of Red Deer, said Demong “sent the information to us… and as an administration, we see merit in what he is presenting.” Kloss noted the Red Deer city council previously spoke out about a need for a better provincial scheme for oil recycling, which is a similar concern.

But while Demong’s motion has already gained support in Edmonton, St. Albert and Banff, Kloss believes it’s premature to bring the matter to Red Deer city council before Calgary council has a chance to discuss it.

If the City of Calgary opts to take action, then Red Deer city council would decide whether to add its voice to the lobbying effort, he said.

What Demong’s campaign could ultimately mean for Red Deer’s monthly utility bills is “too early to tell… It might not be about saving money but reducing costs.”


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