Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is exactly what it sounds like. Currently, producers sell products. When those products reach their end of life, they become waste—waste that has previously been managed by municipalities. EPR extends the responsibility of end-of-life products back to producers, saving the municipalities money. 

The costs for the recycling system will now be accounted for in the cost of a product—not in property taxes or utility rates.

Expected to reduce recycling collection service costs by up to $105m per year
Expected to be added to the Alberta economy every year.
Expected to gain 220 new jobs in Alberta’s recycling industry.

While EPR is not a new concept for producers or suppliers, it is a new concept for Albertans. EPR presents several positive opportunities for municipalities in Alberta: 

  • Reduced costs for municipalities: The industries that create certain materials will now be responsible for the collection and management of those materials at the end of their product life.
  • Increased recycling of products: Since producers are responsible for recycling the products they create—they have an incentive to ensure fewer products end up in our landfills or are disposed in other ways.  
  • Steps towards an Albertan circular economy: Products that previously ended up in the waste stream are redirected and recycled into new products to be used again and again. This means more job creation, more economic investment, and larger economies. 

Nov 30, 2022: The Government of Alberta passed regulations for EPR, including eligible materials and recycling targets for materials. The Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) was named as the oversight body.

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 that had a common collection system as of November 30, 2022. (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 not receiving collection services as of November 30, 2022.

Alberta Environment and Protected Areas  (Regulations):  

Contact: AEP.RecyclingRegulation [at] gov.ab.ca (AEP[dot]RecyclingRegulation[at]gov[dot]ab[dot]ca)

Alberta Recycling Management Authority (Oversight):

Designated oversight body for EPR. This means they are responsible for ensuring that everyone undertakes their required roles in the system and achieves the results required by regulation. ARMA also registers municipalities to participate in EPR. Contact ARMA for specific information about registration and reporting requirements.

Contact: epr [at] albertarecycling.ca (epr[at]albertarecycling[dot]ca)

Circular Materials  (Operations): 

Producer Responsibility Organization for Packaging and Paper Products. Circular Materials also has a working group for EPR called ‘Circular Materials Alberta Municipal Working Group to directly answer questions from municipalities.

Contact: ABoperations [at] circularmaterials.ca (ABoperations[at]circularmaterials[dot]ca)

Product Care (Operations): 

Producer Responsibility Organization for Hazardous and Special Products.

Contact: alberta [at] productcare.org (alberta[at]productcare[dot]org )

Alberta Municipalities (ABmunis): 

Coordinates advocacy, and administers the Municipal EPR Working Group. Contact us with any EPR questions and we’ll help you find answers.

Contact: kris [at] abmunis.ca (Kris Samraj), Policy Analyst at Alberta Municipalities

Registering for EPR

Municipalities must indicate their interest by registering with the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) to be eligible for EPR. The following steps give you an overview of the registration process with ARMA.

EPR Regulations

EPR only applies to certain residential materials and excludes institutional, commercial, and industrial materials. The regulations also outline what service standards producers must achieve.

Extended Producer Responsibility Webinars

The transition to Extended Producer Responsibility in Alberta will be complex. To help communicate and answer questions ABmunis and ARMA are holding webinars on different aspects of EPR.

Alberta Collaborative Extended Producer Responsibility Study

ABmunis advocated for EPR to be implemented in Alberta. In 2019, ABmunis, with our partners commissioned the “Extended Producer Responsibility for Residential Packaging and Paper Products: Alberta Collaborative Extended Producer Responsibility Study.”