New Manitoba product stewardship plan
In the next step in the province’s four-part waste management strategy, Manitobans are being asked for their opinions on a new regulation intended to improve household recycling in the province, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers has announced.
The proposed regulation under the Waste Reduction and Prevention Act would shift responsibility for managing recyclable materials collected by municipalities from the Manitoba Product Stewardship Corporation to a new organization to be established by industry stewards. Requirements for public consultation on the development of the program plan will also be broadened.
Activities for this and other industry stewardship consultations are being coordinated by Green Manitoba, a special operating agency of government. As well as consultations on household recycling, Green Manitoba will focus on three other areas of product stewardship including scrap tires, household hazardous waste and waste from electronic products.
The proposed regulation and guide for stewards are available online at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/ pollutionprevention Copies are also available at Manitoba Conservation’s public registries located in libraries throughout the province or by calling the Pollution Prevention Branch toll-free at 1-800-282-8069, ext. 8443. The deadline for comments is February 26.
NAFTA used for Adams Mine lawsuit
Vito G. Gallo — a Pennsylvania investor — alleges in a notice filed with the Canadian federal government that the Ontario government’s 2004 move to prohibit use of the Adams Mine in Northern Ontario as a landfill site was a form of expropriation. He has served notice that he intends to use provisions under NAFTA to sue Canada for $355.1-million. Gallo’s Ontario company owns and controls the Adams Mine property, a former open-pit iron ore mine about 10 kilometres southeast of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, that was being developed as a landfill to receive Toronto garbage shipped by rail.
Gallo will argue that Canada breached the controversial Chapter 11 of the North American free-trade agreement, a section that allows investors in Canada, Mexico and the United States to sue other NAFTA member governments if their investments have been unfairly damaged by law or regulation.
Gallo’s NAFTA filing says the site’s south pit is capable of receiving one million tonnes of non-hazardous waste per year and has a capacity of at least 20 million tonnes. The site had received approval under the province’s Environmental Assessment Act. Gallo’s filing alleges that government interference took place after Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals came to power in Ontario.
The federal government, as signatory to NAFTA, must address the complaint even though the actions called into question were taken by a province. The federal government and Gallo must consult on the matter before he moves forward to submit a claim for compensation under NAFTA. If nothing is resolved, and 90 days have elapsed since the notice of intent to submit a claim was filed, he is entitled to ask for an arbitration panel to hear his case. In October, 2002, Ohio firm S. D. Myers Inc. won $8.2-million in compensation under NAFTA after Canada temporarily banned exports of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). That company had originally sued for US $20- million.
Watch for further analysis of this lawsuit in a forthcoming edition of this magazine.
Ontario bans burning of used motor oil
On Thursday, January 11, 2007, at the Safety Kleen plant in Breslau, Ontario, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment Laurel Broten announced a draft regulation with the intent of banning the practice of burning used motor oil in space heaters. Currently, about 10 million litres of used oil generated in the province is burned in over 700 space heaters, primarily in Southern Ontario.
The ban will protect health, improve air quality and encourage recycling, Minister Broten said. She was joined by Fred Florjancic, President and CEO of Safety Kleen Systems Inc. Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., Canada’s largest used motor oil re-refiner and collector of used oil, used oil filters and industrial solvents, has won the Recycling Council of Ontario’s Platinum Sustainable Technology Award for its used motor oil re-refining operations in Breslau, Ontario (near Kitchener-Waterloo).
For more information, contact Dale MacIntyre, Vice-President, Canadian Refinery Operations, Safety-Kleen Canada Inc., at email@example.com
Michigan re-introduces bill to curtail Canadian waste
U.S. Congressmen John D. Dingell (D-MI15) and Mike Rogers (R-MI08) have introduced the International Solid Waste Importation and Management Act, legislation curtailing the importation of solid waste from Cana- da. This is the same as the legislation that passed the House in the 109th Congress.
“During the last Congress, the House passed HR 2491, the International Solid Waste Importation and Management Act,” Dingell said. “Unfortunately this legislation was not brought to the Senate floor before the 109th Congress adjourned. The citizens of Michigan must be protected from unwanted shipments of foreign trash, action is long overdue. I praise the way the delegation has worked together on this matter.”
If enacted, this legislation would require pre-notification of waste shipments and equip staff at U.S. EPA and other agencies with various tools to reject or turn back Canadian waste shipments. It would allow states to enact laws or issue regulations consistent with international trade obligations imposing limitations on the receipt and disposal of foreign municipal solid waste.
Contact Adam Benson at or visit www.house.gov/dingell/
Nova Scotia chooses cement kiln for tires
Nova Scotia’s Resource Recovery Fund Board, a non-profit organization which is responsible for solid-waste management in that province, has approved plans by Lafarge Canada Inc. to burn scrap tires as an alternative fuel in its cement plant in Brookfield, N.S. The plan is still subject to approval from the provincial government.
Nova Scotia RRFB selected the multinational cement firm to collect and process the more than 900,000 scrap tires generated in Nova Scotia each year. Ontario’s environment ministry recently approved a similar request from Lafarge to use tires as an alternative fuel source at its plant in Bath, near Kingston, Ontario. Ontario’s environmental review tribunal is considering the request of an opposition group for permission to appeal the government’s approval of the plan. Critics say the Ontario government granted approval to Lafarge without holding public hearings under the Environmental Protection Act, and also that it’s better to recycle tires than burn them, from an environmental lifecycle perspective.
To learn more about the pros and cons of tire burning, read two articles from the June/July edition of Solid Waste & Recycling magazine. Visit www.solidwastemag.com and click on “Print Edition” at the left side of the home page. The first article is “The Cement Kiln Option: Beneficial utilization of waste materials in cement kilns.” The second article is “Burning Rubber: An opposing view of tire-derived fuel for cement kilns.”
Warwick landfill expansion approved
Ontario has approved the environmental assessment for the proposed expansion of a Township of Warwick landfill with strict conditions to protect human health and the environment. The Ministry of the Environment’s scientific and technical experts have established conditions for the expansion which will protect the environment as well as the h
ealth and safety of the community. These conditions include oversight of the landfill’s design and operation, a ministry environmental inspector dedicated to reporting on the performance of this landfill, and other conditions.
The proposal, from Waste Management of Canada, was subjected to a lengthy and thorough public consultation process through the environmental assessment. Since 1991, the Warwick landfill has accepted industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste as well as municipal waste from local communities.
Visit www.ene.gov.on.ca Also, see John Nicholson’s Waste Business column in this edition.
David Betts steps down from EPSC
David Betts will step down as President and CEO of Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC) in June of this year. Betts has been president of the industry-led, not-for-profit organization that has been working to design, promote and implement sustainable solutions for the recycling of end-of-life electronics since it was founded in 2003.
Betts feels that EPSC, which represents 22 of the leading consumer electronics and information technology manufacturers, has been successful in working with governments, recyclers and other stakeholders to create effective programs that will result in environmentally responsible recycling.
“When EPSC began, we wanted to see programs that worked at the provincial level, but that had common elements that helped to integrate the programs across the country, Betts said. “We also wanted to ensure that there were strict guidelines and standards in place to ensure that electronics were processed and recycled in a safe and environmentally sound manner.
“With industry-led programs about to begin in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and the implementation of our Recycling Vendor Qualification Program (RVQP) that assesses and qualifies the companies that recycle electronic products, we are seeing tangible results that will protect our environment, and the people who work in the recycling industry. I am confident that EPSC and its member companies will continue to see effective provincial programs established across the country.”
The Chair of the EPSC Board, Garry Travers of IBM Canada Ltd., expressed his appreciation for Bett’s role in shaping the organization and outlined the next steps for EPSC.
“Over the next few months we will take the opportunity to assess the needs and requirements for EPSC as an organization that is now four years old. With several provincial programs established or in development, and our RVQP standards in place, we can take time over the next few months to review and assess our current leadership and organizational requirements. We look forward to the next phase of EPSC, and to finding a leader to continue setting the highest standard in environmentally responsible stewardship.”
Betts will officially leave his position in June 2007, and will continue serving as President and CEO of EPSC until that time.
For further information, visit www.epsc.ca or contact Jay Illingworth, Vice-President EPSC at 613-238 4822 ext. 225 or firstname.lastname@example.org