Report: The Alberta GPI Accounts: Municipal and Hazardous Waste by the Pembina Institure
Open Municipal and Hazardous Waste Report 2002
Report #27 of a series of reports prepared by The Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development that define various aspects of the Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI) for Alberta Canada
About this Report
This is one of 28 reports that provide the background for the Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI)
System of Sustainable Well-being Accounts. It explains how we derived the waste indices that were
earlier published in “Sustainability Trends 2000: The Genuine Progress Statement for Alberta, 1961
to 1999.” The research for this report was completed near the end of 2000. The appendices provide
further background and explanation of our methodology; additional details can be obtained by
contacting the authors. Appendix A includes a list of all GPI background reports.
This report examines municipal and hazardous waste in Alberta, and attempts to answer the following
- 1. What is the volume of hazardous waste in Alberta? Is it increasing?
- 2. How much hazardous waste is treated at the Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre at Swan Hills, how much is recycled and how much is landfilled?
- 3. How much oilfield waste would be classified as hazardous, if oilfield waste were not exempt from classification as hazardous waste?
- 4. How much waste is disposed of in deep wells in Alberta?
- 5. Given the fact that hazardous waste stored at the site where it is created is not included in the hazardous waste inventory for the province, what figures reported by the National Pollutant Release Inventory can be used to supplement the published hazardous waste data?
- 6. What is the extent of contaminated land in Alberta? How much of this land includes sites of former waste deposition, spills and leaks?
- 7. What are the economic and environmental costs to society of hazardous wastes in Alberta?
- 8. How much municipal waste is disposed of each year in Alberta? How much waste per capita?
- 9. How much municipal waste is recycled? How does Alberta compare with other provinces, and what schemes are in operation to recycle municipal waste?
- 10. What are the environmental non-market costs to that result from municipal waste?
About the Pembina Institute
The Pembina Institute is an independent, citizen-based organization involved in environmental
education, research, public policy development and corporate environmental management services. Its
mandate is to research, develop, and promote policies and programs that lead to environmental
protection, resource conservation, and environmentally sound and sustainable resource management.
Incorporated in 1985, the Institute’s main office is in Drayton Valley, Alberta with additional offices
in Calgary and Ottawa, and research associates in Edmonton, Toronto, Saskatoon, Vancouver and
other locations across Canada. The Institute’s mission is to implement holistic and practical solutions
for a sustainable world.
The Green Economics Program is dedicated to designing and implementing practical, street-smart
economic tools that would reorient society back to the original meaning of the word “economy”—the
care and management of the wealth of the household. By developing new tools for measuring the true
wealth or well-being of nations, we can help guide Canadians and Albertans to a sustainable future.
For more information on the Pembina Institute’s work, please visit our website at www.pembina.org,
The Pembina Institute
Drayton Valley, AB T7A 1S7
tel: 780-542-6272 /// fax: 780-542-6464
About the Authors
Mary Griffiths joined the Pembina Institute as an Environmental Policy Analyst in May 2000.
She brings strong research and policy analysis skills as well as an extensive background and indepth understanding of a wide range of environmental issues. Mary works with the Energy Watch
team on environmental and energy advocacy issues and with the Institute’s Green Economics
Program on genuine progress indicators for Alberta. She has long been an advocate for the
protection of the environment, both in her previous employment and in her volunteer activities.
Mary holds a Ph.D. (Medical Geography), University of Exeter, UK and a B.A. (Geography),
University of Exeter, UK.
Sara Wilson joined the Pembina Institute in August 2000, as a member of the Green Economics
Program. She works on establishing measurements of ecological well-being and community
sustainability reflected in genuine progress indicators using time series analysis and valuation
methods. Sara aims to promote better physical and economic accounts that will reflect our natural
capital, quantitative and qualitative degradation, and the ecological and social costs of losses in
ecological integrity. Before joining the Green Economics team, Sara completed the water account
and forest account for the Nova Scotia GPI. In addition, she has three years’ experience as a
forest ecology researcher and three years’ experience in environmental education. Sara holds the
following degrees: MSc.F. (Mixed Boreal Forest Disturbance Ecology), University of Toronto
and B.A. Hon. (International Development Studies and Environmental Geography), University of
Mark Anielski is Director of the Green Economics team, and has considerable experience in
public policy analysis including natural resource, energy, royalty and fiscal policy issues in both
the public (Alberta Government) and private (GPC- Government Policy Consultants) sector. He
also serves as Senior Fellow to the U.S. economic policy think-tank Redefining Progress in
Oakland, California and authored the 1999 U.S. GPI report with journalist Jonathan Rowe. He
currently advises the National Round Table on Economy and the Environment’s Sustainable
Development Indicator Steering Committee on the development of indicators for measuring
sustainability in Canada. Mark teaches business and the environment in the University of
Alberta’s School of Business. His expertise is varied and broad including accounting for
sustainable development, natural resource accounting, public policy analysis, business planning
and performance measurement. Mark pioneered the development of natural capital accounts for
Alberta’s timber, oil, gas, coal and other natural capital as well as having experience in the
development of performance measurement systems, land use planning and non-market resource
valuation, royalty policy analysis (forestry, oil and gas), and analysis of subsidies for both
government and private forestry, energy and financial service industries. He holds a Masters
degree in forest economics, plus bachelor degrees in economics and forestry.