The recently released Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation (MPSC) annual report for 2000/2001 indicates that Manitobans recycled about ten per cent more material than the previous year. The increase is due in part to the addition of seven new community recycling programs (for a total of 173) and the injection of $5.2-million to municipalities over the past year. The MPSC-supported Student Action for Recycling (STAR) program continued to grow with the addition of 11 per cent more schools.
The implementation of Winnipeg’s long-awaited multi-family dwelling recycling program was complete by early November. It is estimated that the program — which includes 1,650 apartment and condominium buildings — will generate 4,000 tonnes of recyclables this year.
Call 204-989-6222 or e-mail info@ mpsc.com
Nova Scotia containers
On October 16, 2001, Nova Scotia celebrated the recycling of its one billionth beverage container since April 1, 1996. As part of the Nova Scotia Solid Waste-Resource Management Strategy, Nova Scotia introduced a deposit-refund system on all beverage containers. There is a 10 cent deposit on all sealed beverage containers. Consumers bring back their containers to any one of about 90 Enviro-Depots in the province to receive a 5 cent refund. This system has resulted in the achievement of an 83 per cent recovery rate for all beverage containers. The system is operated by a not-for-profit organization created be the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour.
Contact Barry Friesen at 902-424-2645 or email@example.com
Less recycling in the U.S.
State Recycling Laws Update (published by Raymond Communications) reports that on the basis of its recent survey of recycling managers, national recycling rates in the U.S. may be lower than some figures indicate. New data indicates a national recycling rate of approximately 25 per cent, compared with the U.S. EPA’s estimate of 27.8 per cent. As in Canada, the process of determining diversion rates across the country is less than precise given variances in the way such information is tracked. For example, many states only estimate rates. Twelve states reported increases in recovery, while some (including Florida, New York, and Virginia) show less material recycled than the previous year.
Contact Michele Raymond at 301-345-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bioreactor in la belle province
Houston, Texas-based Waste Management Inc. (WMI) has received approval from the Quebec environment department to build a bioreactor near Montreal to convert solid waste into energy. The project has the potential to generate eight megawatts of electricity — enough to power approximately 8,000 homes. Interstan, a division of WMI, will operate the bioreactor starting in early 2002.
Call Hubert Borg at 514-234-8008
Approximately 160 delegates attended the Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI) annual convention and general meeting in Mont Tremblant, Quebec on June 9-11. Attendees were also provided with an exhibition of equipment from 25 companies. In a video message, Natural Resources Minister Ralph Goodale congratulated CARI on its 60th anniversary and described some of the initiatives the federal government is planning. CARI is comprised of companies ranging from individual scrap collectors to technologically advanced capital-intensive processing plants.
Contact Chris Pelletier at 905-426-9313 or email@example.com
Nanaimo votes for zero waste
At a regional district board meeting in mid-June, the Regional District of Nanaimo, British Columbia voted overwhelmingly to go ahead with a “zero waste” concept to reduce solid waste. This new mandate to reduce disposal as much as possible will necessitate alternatives for major portions of the waste stream, including compostables, construction and demolition waste, and land clearing waste. In 2000, Nanaimo achieved a 54 per cent diversion rate.
Contact Andy Telfer at 250-752-8293 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mandatory recycling in TO
As of January 1, 2002, a Toronto bylaw will make recycling mandatory for all residences in the city. This may be a challenge for apartment dwellers, which produce about one-third of the city’s 907,000 tonnes of residential waste. Two pilot projects will test innovative ways to meet this challenge: a “tri-sorter” chute system and a system that involves burying large plastic barrels below ground. In October, the city approved a plan to divert 60 per cent of the city’s residential waste from landfill by 2006. This new plan will require residents to separate wet and dry garbage. The new program will take effect in July 2002.
Contact Geoff Rathbone at 416-392-4715
Hospitals recycle one-use devices
Cash-strapped Canadian hospitals use medical devices designed to be used only once as often as twenty times. According to the recently released study by Health Canada’s Nosocomical Infection Surveillance Program, some devices — including surgical tools and gastrointestinal snares and forceps — only get a “low level” of sterilization before being used for another patient. Criteria for deciding when to reuse equipment vary with hospitals, provinces and surgical units. The survey was sent out in December 2000 to acute-care hospitals with more than 80 beds. More than 400 of the almost 750 hospitals responded.
The Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) Technical Committee on Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) recently released the draft copy of the CSA standard — Z752 Definition of Household Hazardous Waste. Public input was received in October. Publication of the final standard — which will include revised definitions, broader lists of risk and hazards, as well as new criteria — is targeted for the spring of 2002.
Contact Darryl Neate at 416-747-2539 or email@example.com
On August 7, 2001, Golder Associates merged with RL&L Environmental Services Ltd., an aquatic science and environmental biology firm. RL&L has approximately 50 staff in Edmonton, Alberta and Castlegar and Prince George, British Columbia. Golder is an employee-owned global group of consulting companies specialising in ground engineering and environmental sciences. The group now has over 2,400 employees in 84 offices across North America, South America, Europe, and Austral-Asia. RL&L’s aquatics experience enhances Golder’s position to provide aquatic services in Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
Contact Dave Fernet at 403-299-4600
Biomass to energy
On June 22, 2001, Sydney, British Columbia-based Hydroxyl Systems Inc. and Dunedin, New Zealand-based Waste Solutions Ltd. signed an agreement to allow Hydroxyl to represent Waste Solutions’ advanced treatment technology in the Americas. The technology provides anaerobic biological treatment of high-strength organic wastes, and a biomass to energy conversion system. The energy is created by producing steam, electricity, or both from the combustion of biogas in the wastewater treatment process.
Contact David Jackson at 250-655-3348 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Philip Services Corp. (PSC), but says it is time for the company to dump its scrap metals business. In a recent filing to the U.S. SEC, Mr. Icahn discloses that he has boosted his stake to 46.7 per cent from 42.3 per cent, and says he might seek control of the company if its metals business is not sold. According to Mr. Icahn, PSC should focus on its industrial services business. PSC’s second-quarter revenue dropped to US$396.1-million fr
million last year. The firm attributed the drop to a US$31-million slump in revenue from its metals services group, which accounts for about 35 per cent of the company’s overall revenue. According to PSC spokesperson Linda Kuhn, the company considered selling the scrap metals business to raise cash in 1998 but the offers were too low, especially when compared to prices PSC paid to acquire metal subsidiaries before 1997 (when the business was at its peak). Mr. Icahn acquired the bulk of his holdings in Philip through a reorganization that was completed on April 7, 2000. On October 8, the company announced that it is selling its Canadian ferrous operations to pay down debt. (See Cover Story in the August/September 2001 edition of sister publication Hazardous Materials Management.)
Contact Linda Kuhn at 905-540-6658
Pesticides alternatives in B.C.
On September 16, 2001, the North Shore Recycling Program (NSRP) in British Columbia educated the public about alternatives to pesticides at the inaugural North Shore Natural Gardens Tour. The event featured various techniques — including natural lawn care, composting, sheet mulching, water-wise gardening, native plantings and biological pest control — demonstrated in nine natural gardens. The event was coordinated in response to growing public concern over the health risks associated with pesticide use and municipal governments bringing in regulation bylaws (as recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in the Spraytech and Chemlawn vs. Town of Hudson decision).
Contact Heidi Schimpl at 604.984.9730 or email@example.com
Pesticides problem in PEI
According to Canadian federal scientists, the air of Prince Edward Island (PEI) is contaminated with hazardous pesticides routinely sprayed on potato farms. In recent surveys conducted by Environment Canada, chemicals used to kill insects, fungus and weeds were discovered in the air. One fungicide — a carcinogen called chlorothalonil — was detected at the end of a wharf in a community where potatoes aren’t even grown. The U.S. government classifies the fungicide as a probable human carcinogen, saying it can cause severe eye and skin irritation, that it is particularly dangerous if inhaled and that it may cause reproductive problems. The U.S. Forestry Service is only allowed to use it in conditions where it won’t spray outside the spray area.
Call Environment Canada at 819-997-1441
TDG regs published
On August 15, 2001, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods “Clear Language” Regulations were issued in Canada Gazette II. The regulations — which will come into force as of August 15, 2002 — can be viewed at the Transport Canada web site, linked to www.solidwastemag.com.