Partnering with a passionate team of university students, this campaign aims to promote the reduction of construction and demolition waste in Calgary

ReConstruct Calgary

(Partner Organisation)
Construction & Demolition Waste Campaign

This campaign is a shared initiative supported by two nonprofits, Plastic-Free YYC and Engineers Without Borders Canada.

The campaign is proposing policy recommendations to the City of Calgary to restructure policy related to the disposal and recycling of C&D waste as an opportunity to reduce the overall waste that goes to landfills in order to shape the environmental future of our city. By the year 2025, we envision driving a change in Calgary’s construction practices that sees at least 80 percent of construction and demolition waste diverted from landfills. Resource extraction and landfills are major contributors to GHG emissions and land degradation, and so it is imperative that municipalities develop robust solutions to curb C&D waste. 

This is not a revolutionary idea. In 2014, the City of Vancouver passed The Green Demolition Act, requiring the diversion of 70 to 90 percent of C&D materials from landfills. In 2016, Vancouver reported 86% diversion of C&D residues from landfills. Other cities law across North America, like Chicago and Seattle, have implemented their own ordinances to prioritize C&D waste management .

This is also not a new idea. In fact, it is just the well-forgotten old. Twelve years ago, in 2007, the City of Calgary announced they aimed to divert 80% of C&D waste from landfills by 2020. The last citywide waste audit in 2014 showed our city only managed to divert 20% to 30%. Since then, the City of Calgary rolled back their target from 80% to 40%. Our objective is to get City Council to approve a bylaw that will require all C&D projects in the City to have 80% diversion by 2025. Calgary will be the second major city in Canada to have an C&D diversion bylaw, after Vancouver. With an 80% target, compared to their 70%, ours will be more ambitious.

The goals and concept of (Re)Construct Calgary was conceived last summer when our campaign manager, Trecia Kilback, worked on a project that was able to divert 94% of C&D waste, amounting to over 70 tonnes. This experience led her to build a dedicated team that conducted research on various cities and their respective C&D waste diversion models. The team then compiled a list of five strategies the City of Calgary can consider introducing into their plan, which would help them achieve the 80% diversion benchmark. 

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This is a student/volunteer-led initiative. For inquiries please contact: