Hunting practices that use all of a hunted animal’s body parts so as to leave no waste come to mind when you hear about the state-of-the-art waste management operations – or lifestyle really – that exist in Alberta, Canada’s capital city of Edmonton.
Our Canadian sister company, SENA Waste Services, is excited to have been selected to operate and maintain the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, the largest waste processing and research facility in North America. Our team is eager to expand its presence in the community of Edmonton, which is one of the world’s most sustainable cities.
Waste disposal is a challenge for many booming urban areas; nearly 70 percent of the earth’s population dwells in highly concentrated city environments. In the U.S., for example, the average amount of waste generated by residence has tripled since 1960. Americans generate between 250 and 400 million tons of garbage each year — approximately enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks each day!
Sustainable cities like Edmonton are tackling waste management head-on. Currently, 60% of municipal waste is diverted away from landfills through composting and recycling. Residents can recycle at depots throughout the City. An electronic waste facility breaks down relics of innovation, such as 8-tracks, CD players and fax machines. The remaining landfill waste has an afterlife as well. Organic waste is converted to electricity, producing enough to power 4,600 homes.
Edmonton is living proof that for an innovative and rapidly growing region of about 1.2 million people, sustainable development is not only possible, but economical. Sustainable development is a regional economic driver: one out of every 10 jobs created in Canada is in the Edmonton region and the local GDP grew by 4.3 percent in 2013.
The City of Edmonton has received well-deserved acclaim for its sustainability efforts. The World Wildlife Federation (WWF Canada) named Edmonton the Earth Hour City Capital for 2014. The Earth Hour City Challenge recognizes cities that take action to become more sustainable, and Earth Hour organizes people across the world to switch their lights off for an hour to raise awareness for the planet.
Our company – and our mutual parent company SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT – shares a core commitment to sustainable development. In doing so, we have a proven record in helping others to design and meet sustainable development goals. Edmonton is leading the next frontier in waste management — and we’re eager to join them at the cutting edge.