Island leads Canada in recycling and composting

Prince Edward Island keeps more waste out of landfills – per person – than anywhere else in Canada.

According to Statistics Canada’s 2014 waste-management survey, Islanders each divert an average of 429 kilograms of waste to recycling or organic processing – which is well above the Canadian average of 255 kilograms per person. British Columbia residents ranked second, diverting 358 kilograms per person from landfills.

“I want to thank Islanders for taking time in their daily lives to recycle and compost, which has made Prince Edward Island a leader in diverting waste from landfills,” Communities, Land and Environment Minister Robert Mitchell said. “We may be a small province, but this goes to show that Islanders can accomplish big things when we work together.

“Your efforts will protect our environment for future generations,” the minister said, “and save precious natural resources by providing valuable raw materials that can be recycled into new products.”

The Island-wide launch of the Waste Watch source-separation program in 2002 helped Islanders reduce waste going to landfill by 50 per cent. In the two years leading up to the Statistics Canada survey, the total amount of waste diverted to recycling or organic processing facilities increased by 7 per cent (2012-2014).

“This recognition can be shared by all Islanders as a result of our continued efforts in sorting our waste materials properly and by continuing to educate ourselves on new disposal programs moving forward,” said Island Waste Management Corporation CEO Gerry Moore.”

The report can be found at Statistics Canada.


The Beverage Container Program, begun by government in 2008, has enabled Prince Edward Island to lead North America in recycling of beverage containers. Nearly 4.5 million pounds of used beverage containers are diverted from landfills annually, including:

• 900,000 pounds of aluminum that can be endlessly recycled;
• 950,000 pounds of plastics; and
• more than 2.5 million pounds of glass, which are recycled as aggregate to improve drainage on road construction projects.

Since the industry-operated Electronics Recycling Program was launched in 2010, there has been an 18 per cent increase in electronic waste recycling in Prince Edward Island. 

Government, in co-operation and collaboration with industry stakeholders, has also launched industry-led programs in recent years for recycling:
• paint;
• oil and glycol (antifreeze); lead acid batteries;
• light bulbs;
• expired medications;
• mobile phones;
• single-use and rechargeable batteries; and
• medical sharps.

Media contact:
Amber Nicholson
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Communities, Land and Environment

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