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P.E.I. leads Canada in recycling and composting

The Prince Edward Island-wide launch of the Waste Watch source-separation program began in 2002.
The Prince Edward Island-wide launch of the Waste Watch source-separation program began in 2002.

Prince Edward Island keeps more waste out of landfills – per person – than anywhere else in Canada.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2014 waste-management survey, Islanders each divert an average of 429 kilograms of waste to recycling or organic processing – which is well above the Canadian average of 255 kilograms per person. British Columbia residents ranked second, diverting 358 kilograms per person from landfills.

“I want to thank Islanders for taking time in their daily lives to recycle and compost, which has made Prince Edward Island a leader in diverting waste from landfills,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell said. “We may be a small province, but this goes to show that Islanders can accomplish big things when we work together.

The Island-wide launch of the Waste Watch source-separation program began in 2002. In that year, Islanders reduced waste going to landfill by 50 per cent. Ten years later, the total amount of waste diverted to recycling or organic processing facilities increased by seven per cent.

The government Beverage Container Program, begun in 2008, sees nearly 4.5 million pounds of used beverage containers diverted from landfills annually, including:  900,000 pounds of aluminum that can be endlessly recycled; 950,000 pounds of plastics; and more than 2.5 million pounds of glass, which are recycled as aggregate to improve drainage on road construction projects.

Since the industry-operated Electronics Recycling Program was launched in 2010, there has been an 18 per cent increase in electronic waste recycling in Prince Edward Island. 

As well, the Island has industry-led programs for recycling: paint, oil and glycol (antifreeze), lead acid batteries, light bulbs,  expired medications, mobile phones, single-use and rechargeable batteries and medical sharps. 

The Statistics Canada report can be found at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170324/dq170324c-eng.htm.

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