Following China's recent move to stop accepting recycling from Canadian municipalities, some people are concerned that recycling will end up being taken to local landfills to be disposed of.  

Susan Grimm, Team Lead for Airdrie's Waste and Recycling department, insists that's not going to happen anytime soon.

"Absolutely not.  At this point in time, there's not even discussion on that happening here.  In Airdrie for sure and I haven't heard that talk in Calgary either."

China had been taking about 50 percent of Calgary's mixed paper and plastic recycling but decided in July to stop accepting shipments of recycling from some countries, including Canada, by the end of 2017.  Since Airdrie sends it's recycling to Calgary, that has had an effect on the city, although Grimm says it's been minimal so far.

"The National Sword Program is the name of the program and because we send our recycling to Cascades (Recovery) there has been a slight impact, not nearly to the extent that Calgary has had.  Since our program started in April, we've only been affected since October and we have inventory of about 18 metric tonnes of plastic.  It's minimal and at this point, there's no effect and we're continuing to collect things the same way we always have.  We're not making any changes."

Grimm says that between April and December 2017, Airdrie has collected 2,700 metric tonnes of recycling.  

Grimm says Calgary is seeking out other potential markets for it's recycling and Airdrie plans to wait out the situation until that can happen.

"Recycling is a commodity like oil and gas and depending on market values and availability of suitable markets for product it goes up and down all the time.  We experienced this same type of issue in 2008 with newspapers.  We're going to wait it out and we're going to see one of two things.  The restrictions in China could potentially relax or a new source could be found, local or there's things in India and in Thailand.  There's different markets that are available."

Grimm indicates that China made the move to stop accepting shipments of recycling because they were receiving contaminated materials in those shipments.  Those contaminants included some hazardous materials and Grimm says she can't blame them for not wanting to accept dirty recycling.

In the meantime, Grimm hopes that residents of Airdrie will continue with the excellent job they've been doing with recycling.  "Keep the material clean, and make sure it's only material that should go in there and that's how we can continue to do our part."


Questions, comments or story idea's? Email us at [email protected] 


More Local News

Waste Audit Shows Bins Being Used, But There's Room for Improvement

At Monday's (January 15) City Council meeting, members of the City of Airdrie's Waste & Recycling team presented the findings of a recent waste audit.

RCMP Search For Suspects In Canada Post Break And Enter

Airdrie RCMP are looking for two suspects who broke into a local Canada Post building earlier this week.

120 Year Old Photos, Military Trunk Among Items RCMP Wants To Return

Airdrie RCMP want to return three sentimental belongings to their rightful owners.

Calgary Not On Shortlist for Amazon's Second Headquarters

Amazon has unveiled the shortlist for its second North American Headquarters, but unfortunately Alberta cities are not on it.

Starting the School Day Right at Cooper's Crossing

Cooper's Crossing School in Airdrie got a chance to show off its very successful Breakfast Club program to an Alberta government official today (January 18).

Plane Crash Near Didsbury

A plane crash near Didsbury late last night (Jan 17th) left the town without power.

Is The Warm Temperature Here To Stay?

After a week of extreme cold warnings, intense winds and slippery roads, the temperatures have risen into the positives.

Rocky View Intersection is a Safety Concern for City of Airdrie

Traffic at the intersection of Eighth Street and Highway 566 is causing concern for the City of Airdrie and Rocky View County.

Airdrie Mayor for a Day Challenge Accepting Applications

If you've ever thought to yourself, "you know, I bet I could do a way better job at this Airdrie mayor thing than Peter Brown," and you happen to be a student in grade five through 12, now you have a…

Alberta Transportation Eases Worries About Carillion Canada

Carillion Canada will still be operating on some of Alberta's major highways, despite the bankruptcy of their parent company in Britain.

Traffic Stop Leads to Charges of Possession of Break-In Instruments

A traffic stop early Tuesday morning (January 16) led to an arrest.

Tails to Tell Truck Recovered

Things turned out alright for Tails to Tell after their truck was stolen on Christmas day.

Chamber President Says Businesses Must Adapt To New Labour Laws

As of January 1st new labour laws have come into effect in Alberta, causing mixed reactions across our city.

Airdrie Couple Reflect On False Missile Alarm In Hawaii

Last week, residents and tourists in Hawaii were sent into a panic after an emergency alert stated that a ballistic missile was heading their way.

RVS Seeks Feedback On Draft School Calendars

Rocky View Schools (RVS) is seeking input from parents, students, staff, caregivers and the community at large in regards to the 2018/19 and 2019/20 school years.

City Wants to Hear from Residents About Bees

The City of Airdrie hopes you'll swarm to their website to take part in a survey on backyard beekeeping.

City Will Look Further Into Compassion Clause for Tax Bylaw

At last night's City Council meeting (January 15), City Council received information in regards to compassion on tax penalties.

Library Cards Are Free!

Some exciting news has come from the Airdrie Public Library. Memberships are free effective this year.

RCMP Investigating Several Thefts

Airdrie RCMP has released details and photos in regards to several thefts from the past couple weeks.

House Fire Prompts Reminder to Maintain Heaters And Furnaces

A Thursday night (January 11) house fire in Airdrie, is prompting the Fire Department to remind you to properly maintain heaters and furnaces this winter. is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Junior Artists

20 January 2018 1:00 pm

Airdrie Public Library

Adult Artists

20 January 2018 3:00 pm

Airdrie Public Library

PUSH Baby Barre [Registered Program]

22 January 2018 10:30 am - 11:30 am

PUSH cycling studio, Airdrie

FREE FINANCIAL SEMINAR: Understanding Exchange Traded Funds (ETF's) Portfolio Construction - Hosted By: Ash Dawodharry, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones

24 January 2018 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Genesis Place in the Rotary Room

Family Literacy Day

27 January 2018 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Airdrie Public Library

TD Presents - Airdrie Mayor's Night of the Arts Awards

27 January 2018 6:30 pm

Bert Church Live Theatre

FREE! PUSH 101 Workshop

28 January 2018 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

PUSH cycling studio, Airdrie