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Waste management industry: Financial information, 2018

Released: 2021-12-09

Financial characteristics of the business sector

Canadian businesses in the waste management industry had total revenues of $8.2 billion in 2018, up from $7.7 billion in 2016.

Operating expenditures of the waste management industry were $6.5 billion in 2018. Capital investments related to waste management activities totalled $458 million in 2018, up 23% from 2016.

Financial characteristics of the government sector

Local governments spent $3.5 billion on waste management in 2018 and reported revenues of $2.9 billion from it.

Government expenditures related to the operation of waste diversion facilities reflect the growing demand for organics processing and recycling. From 2016 to 2018, local governments spent $364 million, an increase of 13% over that period, on the operation of organics and recycling facilities. Recent waste diversion data published from the biennial Waste Management Industry Survey indicate that municipalities across Canada diverted 9.8 million tonnes of waste from landfills in 2018. Furthermore, the latest Infrastructure Canada data reveal that the number of government-owned waste diversion facilities (1,532) surpassed the number of active disposal facilities (1,499) in 2018.

At the provincial level, Alberta's expenditures related to the operation of organics facilities have risen 85% from 2016 to 2018. Similarly, Alberta saw an increase in the total amount of diverted organic waste in 2018, with just over 320 000 tonnes of organics diverted from disposal—an increase of over 80 000 tonnes since 2016.


Waste management activities in the public and private sectors provided employment for over 39,000 people across Canada in 2018. Full-time jobs represented 94% of all waste management-related jobs in 2018.

  Note to readers

This release is based on the results for 2018 of the biennial Waste Management Industry Survey: Business Sector and Waste Management Industry Survey: Government Sector.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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