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bloga comprehensive guide to commercial recycling for businesses in alberta

A Comprehensive Guide to Commercial Recycling for Businesses in Alberta

Navigating Provincial Recycling Regulations, Overcoming Business Operational Challenges, and Implementing Cost-Effective Commercial Recycling Solutions.

As businesses in Alberta strive to align with environmental regulations and contribute to sustainable practices, commercial recycling emerges as a crucial component of their operations. From bars and restaurants to condo buildings and hotels, establishments across various industries have a responsibility to participate in recycling programs, not only to comply with legal requirements but also to foster environmental stewardship and economic growth.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key aspects of commercial recycling, including legal requirements, challenges, and solutions to reduce costs to your business.

Understanding Legal Framework

Alberta's Waste & Recycling Bylaw, has made recycling a legal obligation for businesses, mandating the diversion of recyclable materials from landfills. According to the City of Calgary, businesses and organizations across Alberta are required to recycle materials comparable to residential waste, along with specific commercial materials like scrap metal and raw wood.


  • Collect and store recyclable materials separately from the waste generated by your employees and customers. This applies to bottles and cans, cardboard, plastic, electronics, clothing, or any materials comparable to residential waste.
  • Separate food and yard waste from the garbage for composting or diversion.
  • Provide signage on all collection containers to educate employees or tenants at least once per year.
  • Ensure the collected materials are taken to a recycling facility.

Illustration depicting how businesses can organize their commercial recycling.

Commercial Recycling Headwinds

It is not a surprise that implementing commercial recycling programs will cost money and eat away at your bottom line. Scheduling recycling pickups with city approved services can cost between $100 and $300 per month, and do not provide payment for recyclables that hold value. For example, a restaurant that purchases beverage containers, will not receive their deposit money if they place these containers in a mixed recycling bin.

In addition, traditional recycling services may have fixed pickup schedules that do not align with the operational needs of businesses. Businesses may struggle to schedule pickups at specific times, leading to logistical challenges and disruptions.

Reduce the Cost of Commercial Recycling

Despite these challenges, businesses can reduce costs by employing these practices: 

  • Identify Suitable Recycling Services: Research and select companies that offer competitive prices while meeting your business's needs.
  • Separate Recyclable Materials: Train staff to segregate recyclable materials like beverage containers from general recycling. Take these items to the bottle depot or book a pickup with a company like SkipTheDepot to offset the costs of your recycling programs.
  • Establish & Monitor Pickup Schedules: Keep track of the volume of recyclable materials generated by your business and adjust pickup frequencies accordingly. Reducing pickup frequency will reduce monthly costs.
  • Stay Informed About Regulations: Stay updated on recycling regulations and compliance requirements to ensure adherence to local laws and avoid penalties.

Business owner installing the SkipTheDepot app to schedule a commercial recycling pickup for their business.

Benefits of Using SkipTheDepot to Recycle Your Bottles, Electronics, and Clothing

  • Convenience: SkipTheDepot provides businesses with the flexibility to schedule pickups for bottles, electronics, and clothing at their convenience, eliminating the hassle of fixed schedules.
  • Financial Incentives: With SkipTheDepot, businesses can retain their deposit money from recycled beverage containers, bolstering their bottom line and maximizing profitability.
  • Flexibility: Businesses can easily adjust pickup schedules, frequencies, and instructions through SkipTheDepot's user-friendly platform, ensuring seamless integration with their operations.
  • Transparency: SkipTheDepot offers businesses detailed breakdowns of their recycling activities, including container counts, bag collections, and environmental footprint tracking, enhancing accountability and transparency.

Book a pickup on SkiptheDepot's website, the App store, or Google Play today!

SkipTheDepot Truck at local Alberta business.

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