Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America with 425,000 members, 4,000 employees and annual sales of nearly $1 billion. It operates 22 retail shopping centres, 26 gas bars, 15 liquor stores and nine travel offices in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
The Calgary Co-op sign is as familiar to the people of Alberta as the Rocky Mountains that border the province. To become the shopping destination of choice, Calgary Co-op has always thought ahead about how it can best serve the future needs of its communities and to this end, has made a long-term commitment to environmental best practices.
As part of this commitment, Calgary Co-op first engaged BFI Canada for its waste collection needs more than 15 years ago. Today, we not only collect their solid waste, but thanks to the responsible, forward-thinking actions of Calgary Co-op, recover 300 tonnes of cardboard for recycling every month.
Calgary Co-op plans to continue increasing the percentage of waste it recycles and we are focused on helping the company meet this future challenge while managing collection expenses.
“Through BFI Canada’s recycling services, we are on our way to meeting our waste diversion goals,” says Wilf Harms, Vice President, Facilities Development and Real Estate, Calgary Co-op. “For our business and for the environment, we see this as a very positive partnership for the future.”
Addressing the Recycling Opportunity
Today and increasingly for tomorrow, we see recycling as an important and growing service and revenue opportunity within our markets. Driven by increasing public awareness of the environmental and energy savings benefits, recycling rates have increased sharply.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling in the United States diverted 82 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2006, representing a recycle rate of 32.5%, up from 15 million tons and a recycle rate of 10.0% in 1980. Recycling also prevented the release of some 49.7 million metric tons of carbon in 2006 – equal to the amount emitted annually by 39 million cars.
In Canada, 93% of households had access to at least one form of recycling program in 2006. Of these households, 97% made use of at least one recycling program, according to Statistics Canada.
To address this opportunity and fundamental environmental need, we provide one of the leading recycling and recovery service offerings as part of our integrated waste collection business model. We work closely with our commercial, industrial and municipal customers to ensure they can advance their waste diversion strategies for the future.
Today, through eight material recovery facilities in Canada and 10 in the U.S., we receive and process newspaper, cardboard, office paper, plastic containers, glass bottles, fibreboard, wood and ferrous and aluminum metals. Quality recoverable material is harvested and then marketed to post-consumer mills for the best attainable product value.
As demand grows, our challenge is to perform this service as effectively as possible. To this end, we approach recycling as we do all other forms of collection – with a focus on maximizing efficiency and productivity on a route-by-route, market-by-market basis.
Along with our customers, we are proud to be a part of a vital environmental solution. Together, we recycled the equivalent of nearly five million trees and reused more than two million tires in 2007.
Harold Richardson Vice President, Alberta, BFI Canada
Wilf Harms Vice President, Facilities Development and Real Estate, Calgary Co-Operative Associate Ltd.