Status of Waste Generation and Management in Ontario by Jo

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Transcript Status of Waste Generation and Management in Ontario by Jo

Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director
Recycling Council of Ontario
April 2010
o Share information about the Recycling Council of Ontario – our mandate and work
o Discuss the issue of waste generation in Canada, the environmental and economic
o Present Canada and Ontario’s waste generation and disposal challenges
o Explain Ontario’s waste-related legislation
o Look at Canada’s waste management policy trends over the last few years
o Explore what waste management may look like in the future in Ontario
o Not-for-profit, non-government, membership-based environmental
o Mandate is to inform and educate society about waste generation,
waste reduction guided by the 3Rs hierarchy, more efficient use of
resources and the benefits and/or consequences of these activities
o Members represent a variety of stakeholders including
municipalities, manufacturers, brand owners, material processors,
industry associations, businesses, other NGOs, academics,
consultants, and other ‘sister’ provincial organizations
o Funding comes from government grants, events, membership,
research funding, and corporate sponsors
o Celebrating over 30 years (incorporated in 1978)
o Instrumental in developing Ontario’s Blue Box Program (25
years old – diverts 60% of residential packaging)
o United Nations Environmental Award (1989)
o Only environmental, not-for-profit organization, appointed
by the Minister to Waste Diversion Ontario, consulting
with the government of Ontario on the development of
Extended Producer Responsibility programs
Our work involves:
o conducting research and sharing information
o supporting the development of effective waste reduction
policies and programs
o leading the implementation and application of policies
o forming partnerships
o operating waste reduction services and programs
o Waste Reduction Week in Canada (
o Take Back the Light (
o Waste Free Lunch Challenge (
o Ontario Waste Minimization Awards
o Waste Audit Consulting Services
o Zero Waste Community Events Toolkit
o Reusable Bag Loyalty Project
o Construction Renovation and Demolition Waste Management Case Studies
The environmental cost of waste generation or disposal is not accounted for in the price of goods
or services; this is a global issue.
Cost of impacts from production to disposal not included in the price
Society/tax payers are faced with the impacts
Disposing of waste in landfill has short-term and long-term impacts
Loss of valuable land
Loss of valuable materials for reuse in manufacturing processes
Groundwater contamination
Release of GHG emissions
Following the 3Rs hierarchy presents environmental benefits
Less energy, pollutants and virgin materials consumed if products are reused or recycled
Avoiding the generation of waste and diverting waste from disposal are key to environmental
protection and combating climate change.
o Waste also represents inefficiencies in our economy, for instance the unnecessary:
o production of GHG emissions
o release of pollutants during production – using recycled paper pulp significantly
reduces the chemicals necessary to produce paper from virgin materials
o consumption of limited resources – materials and energy
o If Canada continues on the path it is headed, it is estimated that approximately $25
billion worth of recyclable materials would be sent to disposal from 2008 to 2033.
o Diverting waste from disposal also results in jobs associated with environmental
protection; more jobs are created in the processing of waste, than disposal.
o In 2006, Canadians generated ~ 1,072 kg/ person of
municipal solid waste, up 8% from 2004.
o 835 kg/person of this waste was disposed!
o A total of 35 million tonnes generated per year and
only 7.7 million tonnes was diverted through
recycling or composting programs.
o The national diversion rate in 2006 was 22%, the same as in 2004.
o Diversion rates differ by sector, and by province/territory.
o The residential sector leads with the highest diversion rate
o Nova Scotia has the highest diversion rate, approx. 40%, much higher than the
national average
Tonnes disposed
9.8 M
10.4 M
Per capita disposal
810 kg
820 kg
Provincial overall diversion rate
o Of the 12 million tonnes of waste generated by Ontario ~80% is disposed (landfilled
or incinerated).
o The majority of the waste is sent to landfill in Ontario, though 30% of waste is
disposed outside this province.
o Ontario’s overall diversion rate is the same as the national average; it increased in
2006 from 20% to 22%.
o The diversion rate for the residential sector is 37% and the industrial, commercial
and institutional (IC&I) sector is 12%.
o The federal government has jurisdiction over toxic substances and the
international movement of waste
o Each province/territory has jurisdiction over most waste-related policy decisions
As a result, diversion rates and legislation/programs differ
o Most provinces/territories have mandated local governments as the managers of
waste programs and only make overarching decisions
For example, mandatory recycling of certain materials
o The Ontario provincial government sets laws to guide the management of waste
and encourage diversion.
o Ontario municipalities determine residential recycling and disposal operations.
Municipalities have unique diversion targets/ programs
Municipalities focus on household waste
IC&I waste is managed by private haulers and the diversion rates differ drastically
Waste Management
o Part V of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) focuses on approvals,
enforcement and compliance for waste management practices (e.g. hauling waste,
o Regulation 347, of the EPA defines, designates and exempts wastes
Hazardous wastes need to managed in an environmentally responsible manner, by
certified waste haulers and needs to be tracked through the province’s Hazardous Waste
Information Network.
Residential Sector: Pollution Prevention & Waste Diversion
o Waste recycling - 3Rs regulations under the EPA require municipalities (over 5,000
ppl.) to divert specific wastes for recycling/composting
o Diversion programs & stewardship - The Waste Diversion Act, 2002 established
four diversion programs, which are funded (at least partially) by the producers of
the material (brand owners / first importers):
Blue Box Program
Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste Program
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program
Used Tires Program
IC&I Sector: Pollution Prevention & Waste Diversion
o EPA Regulation 102/94, Waste Audits and Waste Reduction Plans –
applies to buildings that are 10,000 sq.m. of floor use as offices.
o EPA Regulation 103/94, IC&I Source Separation Programs - applies to
the same buildings, requires source separation programs for the waste
generated at the building.
o Producer-funded Diversion Programs - Used tires, waste electronics and
electrical waste, as well as some municipal hazardous and special wastes
can be recycled through producer-funded diversion programs for waste
generated by all sectors.
o Businesses/companies have a heightened awareness of the environmental footprint.
o High on the public/policy list of priorities
o Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is becoming an increasingly popular policy
“EPR means an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a
product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle.” - Canadian
Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME)
o EPR has the potential to reduce environmental impacts of waste and support more
sustainable waste management systems.
o The provinces and territories are working to harmonize EPR policies
o Provinces and territories have also begun to realize the IC&I waste opportunity
EPR programs broaden scope – include waste generated by all sectors
Voluntary programs (awards, education) - to support the IC&I sector in improving diversion
o Other approaches to reduce the impact of disposal include:
Disposal levies
Mandatory landfill gas capture systems
o Ontario is a leader in EPR policy & is continuing to lead with new proposed
policy approaches.
o The Ontario government just completed a review of the Waste Diversion Act
o Key piece of legislation that promotes waste reduction, reuse and recycling and
provides the authority to establish EPR-based waste diversion programs
o In the review, the government proposed a number of new progressive policy
o Full EPR - both IC&I and residential waste, and 100% of program costs
o individual producer responsibility
o Disposal bans – to ensure materials that can diverted do not end up in landfill
o Disposal levies - address economic disparaties between disposal and diversion
o The proposed approach would set a framework for waste management
similar to jurisdictions who have achieved highest diversion rates.
Issues that may affect waste management and recycling into the future
1) Geography – value of land
2) Energy
Costs to extract resources and manufacture goods
The costs to ship goods (global to local consumption – packaging
The costs to ship wastes
Consumption and Consumerism
Buying local
Buying environmental – Consumer conscious
Big Business CSR (committing and driving sustainable practices)
Jo-Anne St. Godard
Executive Director
Recycling Council of Ontario
[email protected]