Analysis and Comparison of Solid Waste Management Systems and Diversion Practicies in Alberta and British Columbia

Asha, Aklima Zerin
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Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, University of Regina

In this study, the solid waste management systems in Alberta and British Columbia are analyzed and compared. Geographically, Alberta and British Columbia are located side by side in Western Canada. These two provinces were selected and compared with respect to the non-hazardous waste generation characteristics and diversion practices. The municipal solid waste data were collected from Statistic Canada from 1996 to 2010. On average, about 1,464 samples were reported in the survey year from both of the business and the government sectors. The waste data was verified and processed for analyses. It was found that both in Alberta and British Columbia the non-residential waste generation is considerably higher than the residential waste generation during the study period. It is also found that the average family income per capita has shown a positive relation with the residential waste generation per capita in both provinces. Gross domestic product per capita has a positive relationship with the non-residential waste generation per capita in Alberta and British Columbia. With respect to waste diversion practices, it is found that the British Columbia system is much more effective than the Alberta system. From 1996 to 2010, the average waste diversion rate in British Columbia was 30.6% and in Alberta it was about was 14.5%. Despite of the fact that Alberta generated 50.9% more nonresidential waste per capita than British Columbia, it spent only 18.3% more money in the business sector of waste management. The waste management policies in the provinces are also discussed. Linear models of total waste generation, generation of residential and non-residential waste per capita and diversion rate of residential and nonresidential wastes are proposed in this study.

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Applied Science in Environmental Systems Engineering, University of Regina. viii, 72 p.