Yukon Amends Recycling Regulations
Amendments to the Beverage Container Regulation, which stipulates surcharges and refunds on products like pop cans, juice bottles, and alcoholic beverage containers, were filed in May, 2016. The amendments simplify the Beverage Container Regulation and add milk products and milk substitutes (like soy milk and rice milk) to the containers included in the Beverage Container Regulation.
The amendments will require payment of 35 cents for any beverage container larger than 750 ml, and will provide for a 25 cent refund when the container is brought to a processing facility. Containers smaller than 750 ml, including beer bottles and all milk and milk substitute products, will have a 10 cent surcharge, with a 5 cent refund on return. The money collected will help cover processing costs for recycling of the containers. The new fees mean there will be no cost for disposal of these items at landfills.
The Designated Material Regulation, which includes surcharges for some types of vehicle tires, was also expanded in May, 2016 to include more tire sizes, electronics, and electrical products. Some examples of such surcharges are: $7-$50 for tires, depending on the size; $15 for desktop computers; $12 for printers; $2 for phones; $8 for microwave ovens; and, $1 for clocks and fans.
Both these regulations fall under Yukon’s Environment Act, enforced by the Department of Environment, and the Department of Community Services, as the authority responsible for territory- wide solid waste management. The amendments made were based on established systems in other Canadian jurisdictions and input received through consultation with stakeholders and the Yukon public.
Despite the fact that these regulations were filed in May, 2016, the Government of Yukon announced that it intended to postpone implementation of the amended recycling regulations until August 1, 2017 to provide additional discussion time with stakeholders.
New Recycling Rules for Compost Facilities in B.C.
The Ministry of the Environment in British Columbia has announced amendments to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation under the Environmental Management Act and the Public Health Act. The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation governs production, quality, and land application of certain types of organic matter and sets requirements for compost facilities with respect to construction and operation; leachate management; odour management; capacity; and, process and quality criteria.
The amendments will require that compost facilities that process food wastes or bio-solids obtain permits from the Ministry of the Environment. There is an exception for facilities that are part of a regional district’s approved solid waste management plan and that already have a Ministry-issued operational certificate. Also, on-farm composting in accordance with Agriculture Waste Control Regulation is not affected by these changes.
The intention is that the permits will contain terms and conditions to address site-specific requirements and those conditions will be intended to reduce environmental impacts, reduce odour issues, and address public notification requirements under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation.
Those facilities with the capacity to produce more than 5,000 tonnes of compost per year have 60 days to apply for a permit. The permit application fee is $200, but once the permit is approved, there is an additional $100 annual fee for facilities that have a permit. Any facilities that fail to apply for the permit within the 60-day period or fail to comply with permit conditions may be subject to enforcement action under the Environmental Management Act.
The permit requires the submission of an operational plan, an environmental impact study, an odour management plan; a leachate management plan, a public notification report, and a First Nations engagement report. The odour management plan requires odour predictions for various activities in the process, procedures to minimize odours at each stage of the process, aeration process, mitigation methods, odour complaint procedures, and contingency procedures in the event of ongoing odour issues. The leachate management plan must include control and treatment of leachate, prevention of various forms of precipitation from generating excess leachate, and minimization of leachate and reuse when possible to minimize or eliminate effluent disposal.
Further revisions to the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation are being considered with a comprehensive review of the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation underway. That review will be released for public comment in the fall of 2016 and subsequent amendments are targeted for 2017.