hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 18:44:29 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information
Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Top Left of Navigation Bar The Nature of Alberta Logo
Species at Risk in AlbertaView our site layout to navigate to specific areasSearch our site for informationObtain help for navigating our sitePlease emails us your questions and comments!View our partners that helped us in this project

Ecosystems OverviewEnvironmental IssuesGeological History of AlbertaAlberta's Natural RegionsAdditional Resources
Visit Alberta Source!
Visit the Heritage Community Foundation
Visit Canada's Digital Collections

Waste Reduction 

Waste clipartIf there is one thing we all have in common, it is waste. Every industry, business and household produces it. How we deal with waste can vary from person to person, city to city and country to country, but from whatever perspective, it cannot be ignored.

For many years, while energy was cheap and disposal sites were easy to locate, it was also easier and cheaper to dispose of wastes than to do anything else with them. Many landfills, where more than 80% of our wastes end up, are quickly reaching their capacity. The NIMBY (Not in My Backyard!) syndrome and steadily rising costs make replacement very difficult.

Ecofile Logo

In Alberta, many of the dumps of the past have been replaced with engineered landfills to minimize the impact on the environment. Alberta is also fortunate to have the Swan Hills Treatment Centre to manage hazardous and special wastes. If wastes are not disposed of properly in controlled facilities, they can be a source of pollution to groundwater when buried or to the air when burned. Soil can be harmed directly when toxic or hazardous waste is disposed of improperly.

There will always be a need for disposal in some form. ButRecylcling clipart disposal can be minimized by reducing the amount of waste generated in the first place, by reusing materials again and again, and by separating out no longer usable materials for recycling. This is known as the hierarchy of the 4 R's - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover. Recovery - the fourth R - is largely out of the control of the average consumer. It involves recovering the heat energy from the incineration of wastes to power another process. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials will decrease our garbage, preserve natural resources and lessen the impact on the environment.

Reprinted from Focus On Waste Reduction  (1997) with permission of Alberta Environment.

Albertasource.ca | Contact Us | Partnerships
            For more on the natural history of Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.
Copyright © Heritage Community Foundation All Rights Reserved