Garbage & Recycling Statistics
There is concern that Canada’s landfills are reaching capacity and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find sites for new ones. Landfills also produce approximately 25% of Canada’s methane emissions (methane is a powerful greenhouse gas).Recycling can help reduce the amount of waste entering landfills and help conserve natural resources.
Over 34 million tonnes of waste was handled in Canada handled during 2008 according to figures released by Statistics Canada - that translates to about 1031 kg of waste per Canadian.
The quantity of waste sent to public and private waste disposal facilities was 25.9 million tonnes, practically unchanged since 2006.
The remaining 8.5 million tonnes was sent for recycling or composting, up 9.7% from 2006. About one-third of waste for disposal came from residential sources, while the other two-thirds came from non-residential sources.
The amount of residential waste disposal fell by 4.0% from 2006 to 8.5 million tonnes in 2008. Meanwhile, the amount of non-residential waste rose by 1.8% to 17.3 million tonnes. Nationally, the quantity of materials diverted from disposal for recycling or composting increased by about 10% from 2006 to 2008. Electronic waste recycling recorded the biggest increase (+115%). This was followed by plastic materials, which rose by 40%.
Local governments spent about $2.6 billion on waste management in 2008, up from $2.1 billion two years earlier. Provincially, municipalities that spent more money per capita on waste management reported diverting greater amounts of waste per person.
Reducing the amount of municipal solid waste we produce is by far the most effective way to reduce the flow of garbage into landfill. To be really effective, we have to incorporate the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – into our daily routine. This means reducing and reusing materials and packaging wherever possible.