Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

EPR represents significant change for all municipalities. The industries that create paper, plastics, and hazardous materials will soon be responsible for the collection and management of those materials at the end of their product life. Producers must arrange to take over this responsibility from municipalities.  

Essentially, recycling collection will soon be one less thing for municipalities to do. The costs for the recycling system will now be accounted for in the cost of a product—not in property taxes or utility rates. British Columbia and Ontario have implemented similar EPR systems. 


Key takeaways from the EPR Regulations

The enabling regulatory framework for EPR in Alberta came into effect on November 30, 2022. The regulations set out which materials producers will be responsible for, the timelines for transition and the authority for overseeing this new system.  

  • The first phase of EPR concerns single use products (SUP), packaging and paper products (PPP), and hazardous and special products (HSP). 

  • The Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) is the designated oversight authority for EPR.     



We don’t have answers to all the questions about transitioning yet, but we do know the timelines. 

  • April 1, 2024. Producers must confirm to ARMA their arrangements with municipalities to meet their obligations to collect and manage designated materials.  

  • April 1, 2025. Deadline for producers to provide a no-charge common collection recycling system for any single-family and multiple-family dwellings currently receiving a common collection system. (Producers will take over operations of curbside recycling collection and depots.) 

  • October 1, 2026. Deadline for producers to provide a no-charge common collection recycling system (or alternative) for any single-family or multiple-family dwelling currently not receiving collection services.    


Collection Service standards 

With producers becoming service providers the regulations outline what service standards they must achieve. Many municipalities with curbside recycling collection collect every week. The regulations may indicate a change.  

  • Minimum curbside collection every two weeks for communities currently with curbside recycling.  

  • Maintain depot access for those communities with depot recycling collection.  


For Hazardous and Special Products (HSP)  

Collecting hazardous materials is different and the regulations outline the number of depots for HSP depending on your community’s population. 

  • For cities larger than 125,000 people, there must be at least one permanent HSP collection site for every 125,000 residents. 

  • For communities between 10,000 and 125,000 residents, there must be at least one permanent collection site. 

  • For communities between 1,000 and 10,000 residents, there must be at least one collection event per calendar year. 

  • For communities under 1,000 residents, there must be at least one collection event per calendar year, if local government has requested one. 


Next Steps

There are several issues yet to be resolved as Alberta transitions to an EPR system.  

  • Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (AEPA) must negotiate a mandate agreement with ARMA. 

  • ARMA, in conjunction with AEPA, must pass bylaws specifying: 

    • The registration process for producers, producer responsibility organizations, processing facilities and municipalities.  

    • The creation of councils to advise ARMA.  

    • Methods of data collection and reporting.  

    • A dispute resolution process.  

ARMA’s bylaws are expected to be released in late Spring 2023. 

ABmunis has created an EPR Working Group to work through issues and share knowledge. Our members include Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Strathcona County, Aquatera Utilities (Grande Prairie), Peace Regional Waste Management Company, Athabasca Regional Waste Management Services Commission, the Recycling Council of Alberta and ARMA. We endeavoured to select a group with diverse perspectives.  

If you have any questions please contact Kris Samraj (kris [at] abmunis.carel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank").