Activity in Quebec
Quebec has published a regulation entitled “Compensation for Municipal Services Provided to Recover and Reclaim Residual Materials Regulation.” The regulation takes effect on March 1, 2005 and will allow municipalities to recover 50 per cent of their costs to recover and reclaim certain materials. The program is similar to the new one in Ontario, with the materials to which the compensation scheme applies being containers and packaging materials, written media, and printed matter. Specifically, containers and packaging materials include all types of flexible or rigid material, used alone or in combination with other materials to contain, protect, wrap or present a product or a set of products. Written media includes paper and other cellulose fibres used as a medium for newspapers, magazines, periodicals or any other similar written matter and the containers and packaging used to deliver such written media directly to consumers or recipients. The third class is printed matter; this includes paper and other cellulose fibres, whether or not they are used as a medium for text or images, except books and materials in the written media class of materials.
The regulation creates rules for identifying the party responsible for paying compensation and these rules depend on the class of materials. For example, for written media and printed matter, the owner of the brand or the name identifying material included in the written media or printed matter may be required to pay a contribution. If the owner has no place of business in Quebec, then the first supplier in Quebec will be required to pay the contribution. The regulation also provides exclusions for persons who contribute financially to other recovery or reclamation systems.
On another front, Quebec has also published draft regulations relating to charges payable the elimination of residual materials and contaminated soils. The charge is fixed at $10 per tonne of materials accepted for elimination and will apply to sanitary landfill sites, dry materials disposal sites, and certain incinerators. The regulation will affect municipalities, operators of waste sites and enterprises generating residual materials. Fines for failure to pay are set at $2,000 to $15,000 for individuals and $5,000 to $100,000 for corporations.
Quebec has also amended its solid waste regulations to limit areas where in-trench disposal sites may be established. The amendments are intended to address the closure of certain sanitary landfill sites, which has resulted in municipalities considering the use of in-trench sites to dispose of residual materials. The concern regarding in-trench disposal sites relates to the impact on water quality. The amendments also require the operator of the sanitary landfill site to accept solid waste from any territory that is not organized into a local municipality and from any municipality with a population of less than 2,000 inhabitants (where no other sanitary landfill is situated closer to the municipality by a road open year-round).
Monitoring and reporting requirements in BC
British Columbia’s Environmental Management Act has been amended to permit regulations that would require monitoring and reporting of information relating to handling, treating, transporting, discharging and storing wastes. These amendments will allow the government to prescribe sampling, analytical, quality control and reporting procedures required under the act and impose limits on facilities that perform these activities. The amendments will also permit provisions for the payment of fees to offset the cost of auditing samples, analytical results, data and reports.
Used-tire recycling program in Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador has announced that its Multi-Materials Stewardship Board is seeking tenders to assist in establishing infrastructure for a new used-tire recycling program. The used-tire collection service would include mobile collections from all tire retailers, establishment of appropriate tire trans-shipment stations, and transportation services for delivery of the tires to central storage yards and/or recycling facilities. The reason for the call for tenders relates to the withdrawal of services by the previous contractor due to lack of markets for recycled tire products in North America.
Diversion programs progress in Ontario
Ontario has experienced several developments relating to solid waste and recycling. In December 2004, the Scrap Tire Diversion Program Plan was released for public comment by Waste Diversion Ontario. This plan envisages designating Ontario Tire Stewardship as the industry funding organization and proposes a four-dollar non-refundable tire stewardship fee that would be remitted by retailers for each new highway tire sold. Stewards would be defined as retailers, since they sell the new tire and collect the scrap tire for eventual disposal. The program would entail the registration and manifesting of scrap tire movement from generators to processors to avoid illegal dumping of scrap tires.
Ontario has also published a new regulation entitled “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.” Essentially, the regulation requires Waste Diversion Ontario to develop a waste diversion program for specific waste electronic and electrical equipment. When the proposed program is submitted to the environment ministry, it will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for public comment.
Ontario has also announced that it will harmonize its metal criteria for compost with those of the CCME. The new standards will allow additional materials to be composted and create more end uses for compost.
Rosalind Cooper, LL.B. is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario. E-mail Rosalind at email@example.com