New waste roadmap talks out the trash

March 31, 2021

New waste roadmap talks out the trash

Strathcona County’s draft plan guiding the next 10 years of waste diversion covers much more than the 3Rs of reduce, reuse and recycle. The Waste Management Roadmap, presented March 30, 2021 to Council, outlines a collective, community-wide commitment to rethinking waste and diverting more from landfill.

The roadmap’s first phase of public engagement, “Talking out the Trash,” took place in June 2020 and addressed the residential sector. Residents shared their priorities and practices with current waste management programs, and thoughts on how to reduce the amount of waste produced and the amount being sent to landfill.  

“Strathcona County strives to be a leader in waste management. All of us, as individuals, households, businesses, institutions, organizations and government—have a role to play and can lead in keeping waste out of the landfill,” says Mayor Rod Frank. “Residents provided meaningful input and shared their passion for reducing waste. This feedback has helped define the Waste Management Roadmap’s community-driven philosophies, values and guiding principles.”

The Waste Management Roadmap prioritizes an expanded waste hierarchy: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and residual, which moves the community towards a circular economy and leading practices in waste management.    

“A circular economy is one where we look at waste as a resource. And we manage all our resources by keeping products and materials in use for as long as possible in their most valuable form,” says Leah Seabrook, Manager of Waste Management Services. “Conserving our resources reduces our environmental impact and is economically efficient.”

Resident input from more than 2,000 survey responses was further refined through online discussion boards and focus groups. The next phase of engagement will address the needs and opportunities in the business and commercial sectors. A final version and an implementation plan will be presented to Council in the fall.

Waste Management Roadmap: “Where we need to go”

Public input was considered alongside research on trends and best practices, the County’s community profile, and other County and regional planning documents including the Environmental Framework.  Nine themes were identified:

  • Working together: waste management is everyone's responsibility
  • Beyond the curb: creating continuity within the community
  • Plastics solution: prevention, innovation and advocacy
  • Processing materials: finding opportunities and value in waste
  • Convenience is key: making reduction and diversion simple and accessible
  • Assessing behaviours: understanding drivers and willingness to change
  • Waste matters: connecting outcomes and educating users
  • Tools for change: incentives and compliance
  • Tracking success: commitment to leadership and targets

Review the What We Heard Report and the draft Waste Management Roadmap:  

Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of hydrocarbon processing in Western Canada. Strathcona County is a leader in environmental conservation, and 55 per cent of its land is within the UNESCO Beaver Hills Biosphere. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community. 


Contact: Strathcona County Communications 780-410-6595