Here’s an overview of key activities to improve waste management across Canada and some from overseas.
Saskatchewan goes for beer in a can
In La Loche, Saskatchewan a two-year pilot project prohibits the sale of beer in glass containers. The goal of the project is to determine whether banning the sale of beer in glass containers will discourage litter, injury and property damage. The project requires participation from both liquor stores and liquor permit holders. The Saskatchewan Association of Rehabilitation Centres, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and Saskatchewan Environment partnered to provide can recycling to the community for the project period, and a can crusher was installed in the local liquor store.
New Brunswick hikes beverage container fees
New Brunswick amended its handling fees for various beverage containers by modifying General Regulation 99-66 under the Beverage Containers Act. From April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003 the cost of each empty refillable beer container is 0.022 cents and 0.032 cents for all other empty beverage containers. From April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004 the cost will be 0.023 cents for each empty refillable beer container and 0.033 cents for all other empty beverage containers. As of April 1, 2004 the cost will be 0.024 cents for each empty refillable beer container and 0.034 cents for all empty beverage containers.
Nfld. diverts, reduces and phases-out
The Newfoundland and Labrador environment ministry announced a new provincial waste management strategy to divert 50 per cent of materials currently disposed by 2010, and to reduce the number of waste disposal sites by 80 per cent. In addition, the province will eliminate open burning at disposal sites by 2005, and phase-out of the use of incinerators by 2008. Unlined landfill sites will be phased-out by 2010, and full province-wide modern waste management will also be implemented by 2010. (See this column in the June/July 2002 edition.)
Nova Scotia recycles paints
On June 1, 2002, Nova Scotia launched a new paint-recycling program to allow consumers to return, at no cost, surplus paint to any of the province’s 85 recycling depots. The initiative applies to all latex, oil and solvent-based paints (including aerosol paint cans) but does not apply to special industrial, automotive, or marine coatings. The Resource Recovery Fund Board will administer the program and brand owners of paint products will fund it. Brand owners must submit a paint stewardship plan to the minister for approval or may contract the service with the board. A retailer is only permitted to sell paint supplied by a brand owner with an approved plan.
Ontario reviews sewage sludge standards
The Ontario environment ministry is reviewing the quality standards and testing requirements for sewage and pulp and paper sludge. The ministry is considering whether additional standards and testing requirements are necessary, and will tighten the requirements for application and practices relating to spreading of these sludges. The ministry also intends to review the notification and consultation requirements for municipalities and others that receive nutrient materials for land application.
The ministry currently issues certificates of approval in order to manage land application of sewage and pulp and paper sludge. The permits must be obtained for each site where these materials are applied to land, and haulers also require a certificate of approval for systems transporting these materials. Each application is reviewed prior to issuing a certificate, which contains terms and conditions controlling all aspects of materials shipment and application to land, including separation distances from groundwater and surface water, quality of the sludge and land application rates. Where certain quality standards cannot be achieved land application is prohibited.
In conjunction with this, the government also committed to ban the land application of untreated sewage and prioritize the passage of the proposed Nutrient Management Act to establish comprehensive province-wide standards to address the potential effects of land application of materials containing nutrients. (See page 5, plus the award-winning article, “Sludge Fight” in the December/January 2002 edition.)
Federal resource recovery
Natural Resources Canada launched Canada-wide consultations on the development of the Canadian Resources Recovery Strategy to increase the recovery rate of materials at the end of a product’s life and improve access to recoverable materials. In addition, consultations will focus on enhancing the efficiency of existing and new recovery operations. Consultations will be held in Yellowknife, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Iqualuit.
A new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) now provides manufacturers with a method to calculate the reuse and recycling percentage of vehicles components and materials before they are put on the market for consumer use. The standard “ISO 2268 Road Vehicles Recyclability and Recoverability Calculation Method” is intended to assist recyclers and dismantlers identify which parts of a vehicle are recoverable for other applications. The new standard will also assist in building an industry-wide vehicle-recycling infrastructure and thereby achieve higher percentages of vehicle recyclability and recycled content in new vehicles.
Further afield, the European Parliament determined that producers should be responsible for electronic waste. Specifically, the European Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment provides for an average compulsory collection target of 6 kilograms of “electro-scrap” per person per year from private households by 2005.
Rosalind Cooper, LL.B. is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario.