Seeking Solutions to Global Recycling Challenges

City of Medicine Hat – Since residential recycling was introduced one year ago, there has been a steady increase both in recycling and in the amount of waste diverted from the landfill thanks to the enthusiastic participation of residents. While recycling is a success, the global plastics market has presented complex challenges affecting municipalities across North America.

The global market for recyclables is currently in flux, especially pertaining to plastic products. The City is working together with its contracted recycling partner, Environmental 360 Solutions (E360S), to monitor the industry as a whole, and share ideas and lessons learned with other municipalities facing the same recycling challenges.

While solutions are being investigated, customers can continue to place all recyclable plastics #1-7 in their residential blue carts or at recycling depots. Currently, a portion of E360S sorted plastics are being trialed with new vendors in hopes of obtaining a long term market. Additional plastics are being stockpiled, with some being diverted via landfill until a solution is found.

“We understand that this is not an ideal solution and are working diligently alongside E360S for long term solutions,” said Brad Maynes, Commissioner of Energy and Utilities. “It is important to recognize that this is a temporary response to a complex, global market challenge over which we have little control. It is not a reflection on the success of our recycling program.”

The City’s Waste Management Strategy is based on the universally accepted principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover. “This current market challenge creates an opportunity for everyone to rethink their personal consumption habits with respect to plastics and other materials,” added Maynes. “We want to thank our customers for contributing to the overall success of residential recycling and reassure them that we are committed to providing further information as changes occur.”

Please visit for more information and download the app Recycle Coach for answers to recycling questions.

For more information:

John Michalopoulos

Acting General Manager

Environmental Utilities