Newfoundland expands landfill ban
On June 30, 2001, Newfoundland Environment Minister Ralph Wiseman expanded the landfill ban on petroleum-contaminated soil to include the entire province. Soil treatment facilities are now operating in nearly all areas of the province, including Stephenville, Corner Brook, St. John’s, Gander, and Grand Falls-Windsor (which opened in late July). A few areas remain exempt until 2002 due to lack of reasonable access to a treatment facility, including communities on the south coast that rely on ferry transportation.
Contact the ministry at 709-772-5488
A $600-million civil action before the Supreme Court of Canada involves an attempt by 30,000 residents to sue the City of Toronto over what they say is an often unbearable smell and mess coming from the Keele Valley landfill. John Hollick brought forth the case, but in 1999 the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that there were no legal grounds for the case to proceed. The court said that the suit’s scope was too large, making it impossible to prove that each and every individual has been equally affected. The high court’s ruling, likely months away, is expected to clarify when and how class action lawsuits can be used. According to Mr. Hollick’s lawyer, Kirk Baert, this is the first time the Supreme Court has looked at Ontario’s class action law, which has been in place since 1993. Mr. Hollick moved to the neighbourhood five years before the landfill opened there in late 1982. It is scheduled to close in 2002.
Iqaluit up in smoke
In late July, residents of Iqaluit, Nunavut were choking on the after-effects of a three-month garbage strike. Faced with a huge backlog from the strike that was settled mid-July and a landfill site that is close to capacity, officials opted to burn the accumulated waste. Municipal workers were under orders to wait for wind that will carry the smoke away from residences. Besides the odour (reportedly like burning tires) some residents are complaining about what might be in the smoke — heavy metals dioxins, furans, and other chemicals. According to Paul Crowley, a member of Citizens for a Clean Iqaluit, Northern residents get a lot of packaging in their waste because everything is imported. While the community of 6,000, which doesn’t have recycling programs, always burns garbage — including household hazardous waste such as paints and cleaning products — the problem has taken on new urgency because of the strike. The group has appealed to city officials and the Department of Indian and Northern Development.
Call Manitok Thompson at 867-975-5400
Alberta scrap tire projects
In 2000, 16 communities in Alberta received funding from the Tire Recycling Management Association to showcase recycled scrap tire products in various demonstration projects. These ranged from playgrounds to athletic facilities to other high profile public sites. Based on the success of the program, eight demonstration projects will be chosen in 2001. Successful projects will receive up to $20,000 in funding for the supply and installation of recycled scrap tire products.
Contact Karen Enzenauer at 1-888-999-8762 or firstname.lastname@example.org and see www.solidwastemag.com for more information.
New B.C. environment ministry
The new British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell announced that the former Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks will be divided to create a Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection to be headed by Joyce Murray, and a Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management to be headed by Stan Hagen.
Call Joyce Murray at 250 387-1187 or see www.hazmatmag.com for a link to the ministry web site
The Saskatchewan government has allocated $575,000 from its 2001 Centenary fund to support a regional system of landfills. This is the second year of a four-year program designed to close old, small local landfills and consolidate them into fewer, more environmentally sound operations. Under the program, the provincial government and municipalities will share the costs of projects such as closing old landfills and setting up collection systems. The province will provide up to 50 per cent of approved eligible costs.
Contact Gregg Hallsworth at 306-787-6487
Ontario’s new waste legislation
On June 26, 2001, the Ontario Environment Minister Elizabeth Witmer introduced legislation to establish a permanent long-term organization to develop, implement and fund waste diversion programs. The proposed Waste Diversion Act 2001 would establish Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) as a not-for-profit corporation run by a board of directors from industry and municipalities. According to Ms. Witmer, this legislation is expected to help Ontario meet its 50 per cent waste reduction goal. The WDO’s first task will be to establish an industry funding organization to set and collect fees from industry to pay 50 per cent of municipal blue box costs. The WDO will also develop, implement and fund waste diversion initiatives for used oil, organics, household special wastes (such as paints and solvents), scrap tires and other materials. The WDO builds on the work of the one-year, voluntary Waste Diversion Organization established in November 1999. (See Regulation Roundup, page 37.)
Contact Mark Rabbior at 416-314-6084
On June 22, 2001, the Government of Canada launched the Atlantic Innovation Fund. Through this $300-million five-year initiative, the government will make investments in research and development to contribute to the progress of technology-based economic activity in Atlantic Canada. The Nova Scotia Environment Industry Association (NSEIA) and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association hosted a workshop on August 8 detailing features of the fund. The fund will primarily be spent on emerging sectors with global growth prospects including aquaculture, environmental and waste management technologies, information technologies (communications and geomatics), health and medical technologies, and biotechnology. There will be a preference for projects that demonstrate pan-Atlantic collaboration and reach beyond a single province or locale. An advisory board guides the fund and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency provides administrative support.
Contact NSEIA at 902-463-3538 or email@example.com
After 15 years with the Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) — 14 of them as executive director — John Hanson has decided to launch his own company, Hanson Research & Communications. His new endeavors will include environmental education, events, campaigns and corporate stewardship initiatives. RCO will remain a major client and as senior policy advisor to the organization he will be responsible for a number of projects, including a new national waste minimization web site, a Canada-wide waste reduction week, a waste electronics infrastructure study, and an experts forum on the land-application of bio-solids.
Contact John Hanson at 416-925-7562 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New European recycling goals
On July 25, 2001, Recycling Laws International publisher Raymond Communications announced that a 60 per cent recycling goal for packaging waste by 2006 is expected to be proposed by the European Commission in the long-awaited revisions to the 1994 packaging directive. In June, the EC Environment Directorate presented its plans to a committee of experts. Differentiated targets are expected for specific materials: 60 per cent paper and paperboard rate, 50 per cent for metals, 70
r cent for glass and 20 per cent for plastics. The proposal is in reaction to the completion of a study on recycling economics by consultants RDC, which recommends a prime recycling rate between 50 and 68 per cent. A new draft is expected at the end of summer.
Contact Michele Raymond at 301-345-4237 or email@example.com