WTC & Pentagon cleanup
The debris removed from the disaster site in New York City is hauled to Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. As of November 6, 2001, according to the NYC Office of Emergency Management, 409,848 tonnes of debris and 98,839 tonnes of steel had been hauled from the site. The cleanup work has been ongoing since shortly after the attacks, and there is no indication when it will be completed. At the Pentagon site in Washington, 10,000 tonnes of debris and steel were removed in 550 truck loads during the effort to find victims, and since October 18, when demolition of the damaged portion began, 15,000 tonnes had been removed. The debris is going to various landfill sites.
The federal Competition Tribunal recently ordered Canadian Waste Services to relinquish ownership of the Ridge landfill in Chatham, Ontario, which it acquired from Browning Ferris Industries in March 2000. The Tribunal accepted the Competition Bureau’s position that Canadian Waste, the largest waste management firm in Canada, should not retain ownership of the landfill. According to Gaston Jorr, senior deputy commissioner of the Bureau’s merger branch, an independently-owned Ridge landfill would allow businesses in the Greater Toronto Area to benefit from much-needed competition among landfills within southern Ontario, and prevent a monopoly of disposal services for businesses in Chatham-Kent. (See “Final Analysis” in the August/September 2001 edition.)
Call Tim Weil at 819-953-9271
Waste Management Inc. has agreed to pay US$457-million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by shareholders in July 1999. The suit relates to conduct around the company’s merger with USA Waste Services Inc. and an “accounting scandal” from the same year, which caused company stocks to plunge.
On November 2, 2001, CSR: Corporations Supporting Recycling and PRO EUROPE, the umbrella organization of “Green Dot” packaging recycling systems in Europe, concluded a license agreement for the use of the Green Dot trademark in Canada. Generally, the use of the trademark on packaging indicates that a financial contribution has been paid to a private-sector organization for the collection, sorting and recycling of packaging. In Canada, however, the trademark cannot be used at this time as a financing symbol. Rather, CSR will charge a licensing fee based on cost recovery. CSR assumes responsibility for ensuring that only authorized companies use the Green Dot on packaging. CSR will also grant sub-licenses to organizations if they express interest in this arrangement.
Contact Barbara McConnell at 416-594-3456 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New legislation for Nfld
In November, the Newfoundland and Labrador Waste Management Advisory Committee presented its proposed modern waste management system to Environment Minister Ralph Wiseman. The committee calls for enhanced recycling and product stewardship (in the next six months for cardboard and newsprint), as well as composting. (See Regulation Roundup, page 44.)
Waste reduction week
The first National Waste Reduction Week took place across the country on October 15-21, 2001. The theme “Too Good To Waste” was celebrated in all provinces. To raise awareness, 22,000 posters and 7,000 volunteer handbooks were distributed to municipal governments and schools. National sponsors included Canadian Tire, Tetra Pak Canada, and the LCBO. The Waste Reduction Week web site, linked to www.solidwastemag.com, features a variety of information and resources with regard to recycling and waste management.
Waste awards in Saskatchewan
The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council and Tetra Pak Canada sponsored Saskatchewan’s fifth Waste Minimization Awards ceremony on October 17 in Swift Current. The awards recognize waste minimization leadership by individuals, non-profit organizations, municipalities, corporations and partnerships. The Honourable Buckley Belanger, Minister of Environment & Resource Management, presented awards to: Ray Nolin of Battlefords Envirotech Industries, who developed a recycling education program for the nearby schools; Kipling Industries, which started as a SARCAN depot in 1989 and has expanded to include a used clothing, books and goods store, and a recycling operation; the Town of Wilkie, which closed its landfill and has a comprehensive recycling and composting operation; and, XPotential Products in Regina, which manufactures impact-posts and impact-curbs from 100 per cent recycled materials and diverts about 26 million lbs. of waste annually.
Contact Joanne Fedyk at 306-931-3242 or email@example.com
Alberta milk jugs
The Alberta Dairy Council recently received notice from Minister of Environment Lorne Taylor that the voluntary Plastic Milk Jug Recycling Program has been extended for another year. To improve recovery rates for registered authorities, the council is implementing several enhancements to the program, including a “collection only” option to provide the flexibility to simply collect milk containers in a common manner and transport them to market by a third party. In addition, effective January 1, 2001, the council increased the transportation supplement from $15 per tonne to $25 per tonne to more adequately reflect costs to transport baled milk jugs to market. The council is expanding the program to include polycoat cartons recycling in all municipalities.
In other news, the City of Calgary recently completed placing milk jug recycling bins at each of the city’s 44 recycling depots.
Contact Roberta Windrum at 1-877-414-JUGS or 780-418-1400 or info@ milkjugrecycling.com
B.C. milk jugs
At its fall conference in Vancouver, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities passed a resolution for the deposit-refund system as defined in the B.C. Beverage Container Stewardship Program Regulation with regard to milk and milk substitutes containers. The B.C. Dairy Council is undergoing pilot projects in two communities to study the collection of milk containers in multi-materials recycling programs. A 12-month project in the City of Abbottsford will add polycoat milk containers to its recycling program. The council will pay the city $4,000 to oversee the project and a further $15,000 to cover additional handling costs at the recycling plant.
Delegates from more than 160 countries met in Marrakech, Morocco in late November to finalize the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change. The two-week meeting aimed to create a legal text out of a political agreement that was struck during talks in Bonn in July. A key issue was the emission credits that industrialized countries and companies can earn for pollution-cutting projects, and of emission credits which countries can get for the scale of their forest and farm sectors. The accord assigns each country a target and sets an average 5.2 per cent emission reduction from 1990 levels to be achieved by 2012. It is expected that the treaty will come into effect by next year.
On November 20, 2001, BIOLIX Corporation of Montreal, Quebec signed an agreement with the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique to market a new, innovative process to treat municipal sewage sludges. The company uses the unique, cost-effective Stabiox technology. (For more on biosolids management, see cover story, page 8.)
Call George Lachapelle at 418-266-5584
Quebec gas recovery
Quebec Environment Minister Andre Boisclair recently announced plans to accelerate the capture and tr
of gas from landfill sites in the province. This initiative will reduce Quebec’s greenhouse gas emissions by 1.7 per cent by 2012, relative to 1990 levels.
Metalclad Corp. of Newport Beach, California has settled out of court with the Mexican government after a five-year fight over a landfill in Mexico. Metalclad won a US$16-million judgment (less than the total amount it was owed once interest is included) only to see the government appeal. (See Final Analysis in the April/May 2001 edition.)
Green auto facility
On October 17, 2001, American Honda opened its “green” facility, a 212,888 sq. ft. warehouse, training centre and office, designed and constructed with recycled, recyclable and sustainable building materials. Innovative systems include: a rainwater collection system that funnels into a 90,000-gallon storage tank for onsite use, hallway flooring made from recycled tires, office flooring made from 100 per cent recycled carpet fibre, and conference room wall coverings made from recycled telephone books. Honda is also working closely with the U.S. Green Building Council to receive the second highest certification level for environmentally friendly design, construction and operation. Honda was the first automaker to achieve certification and introduction of automobiles that meet “ultra low” emission vehicle standards.
Contact Wendell Bugg at 310-783-3217
Thermo Tech launches lawsuit
In mid-November, Thermo Tech Technologies filed a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against at least 75 individuals and companies — among them its former officers and board of directors, as well as Planet Earth Recycling (PERI) and its subsidiaries, which had been contracted to run Thermo Tech’s Canadian operations. The lawsuit was filed in the British Columbia Supreme Court. In its statement of claim, the company alleges that a series of fraudulent payments and share issuances by former chair Ren Branconnier, the companies former directors, PERI president Rowland Wailennius and several others. The company also claims that PERI affiliate Planet Earth Operating Services breached the terms a US$12-million contract it was awarded in March to operate the Hamilton BioConversion facility. (See “Why Do Organics Matter?” in the August/September 2001 edition.) See www.solidwastemag.com or www.ecolog.com for a link to more information.
On November 19, Hamilton, Ontario-based Philip Services Corp., a former waste disposal giant that emerged from bankruptcy reorganization in April 2000, reported a loss of US$18.7-million on sales of $350-million in the third quarter. The company also warned that it failed to meet its coverage ratio under its lending arrangements with Carl Icahn, the largest shareholder of the company. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions, the billionaire financier said that he and the company have discussed possible sales and/or restructuring of various portions of the business.
In other news, proposed amendments to the Certificate of Approval for Philip’s Taro Landfill in Stoney Creek, Ontario are intended to improve operations at the site for optimum environmental protection. The Ontario environment ministry proposals build on recommendations made in an October 2000 report by the Taro East Landfill Expert Panel.
Contact Linda Kuhn at 905-540-6658
Smart growth councils
Next December, when the Keele Valley landfill closes, the City of Toronto will haul its waste to a Republic Services Inc. landfill in Wayne County, Michigan. On December 4, City council voted 38-2 to send 1.25 million tonnes of Toronto waste to Michigan in 2003 and in subsequent years as needed. According to Angelos Bacopoulos, head of solid waste management, the city will pay about $50 a tonne, or $62.5-million per year. Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister Chris Hodgson recently suggested that the city look for an Ontario-based solution using alternatives such as incineration. Mr. Hodgson said the province won’t block the plan, but he’s starting so-called “smart growth councils” on waste disposal that he hopes will find the solution to Toronto’s and other municipalities’ waste woes. The councils will include representatives from the private and public sectors. Mr. Hodgson doesn’t rule out sending the waste to the Adams Mine landfill in Kirkland Lake, Ontario.
The city’s waste currently goes to three landfills: Keele Valley, Republic Michigan landfill and another Michigan landfill operated by Onyx North America Corp. Approximately 900,000 tonnes is municipal waste and the remainder is from industrial and commercial sources. The city’s contract with Onyx expires at the end of 2002 and will not be renewed. Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus has asked Congress and the City of Toronto to end the practice of hauling Canadian waste to Michigan (an estimated 180 truckloads per day), for economic and security reasons. According to the state Department of Environmental Quality, Canada accounted for 4.5 per cent of waste disposed in Michigan in 1999.
Contact Angelos Bacopoulos at 416-392-8301
New Brunswick reduction plan
On December 4, after extensive public consultation on the Waste Reduction and Diversion discussion paper, New Brunswick Environment and Local Government Minister Kim Jardine released an action plan on waste reduction and diversion for the province. According to the minister, the purpose of the action plan is to present the government approach on the issue of waste reduction and diversion in the province, and is one of seven commitments made by the government in the recent Speech from the Throne to secure the environment. The document includes a 10-point plan featuring key initiatives such as: consistent, province-wide standards for recycling programs, government-wide green procurement, public awareness and educational programs as well as a review of applicable legislation. The action plan was developed following a consultative exercise that solicited feedback from the general public, regional solid waste commissions, municipal and local service district representatives, private sector interests and environmental groups. Copies of the plan are linked to www.solidwastemag.com.
Contact Jason Humphrey at 506-453-3700