On April 5, Ontario’s environment minister Leona Dombrowsky announced legislation and discussion documents to change the way waste is managed in the Province of Ontario.
One piece of legislation named the Adams Mine Lake Act, 2004 is intended to “prohibit the use of lakes as landfill sites, prevent the use of the Adams Mine site as a landfill, and deal with matters related to the government taking this action.” The new law is designed to prevent the large worked-out mine near Kirkland Lake from ever being used as a landfill and offers compensation for the project owners for all their expenses to date, but not for lost future profits.
The minister announced the release of a discussion paper to steer the province to 60 per cent waste diversion. Measure may include: Setting province-wide diversion objectives; diversion targets for residential waste achieved through improvements to municipal blue box programs and increased composting; accelerating and expanding centralized composting in large municipalities; a financing strategy for centralized composting, including cost recovery mechanisms, municipal revenue generation, public-private partnerships, shared infrastructure agreements, and provincial assistance in the form of grants or loans; feasibility of phasing in a ban on organics and other recyclable materials in Ontario landfills; new options for source separation for the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) sectors; considering new and emerging waste management technologies; packaging reduction and the increase of recycled content in paper and packaging; public education and awareness activities to promote 3Rs; and, province-wide tracking of waste going to landfill or export.
The government also announced the establishment of an advisory panel of expert practitioners to develop proposals on possible approaches to improving the environmental assessment process for waste management facilities, transit and transportation projects and clean energy facilities. An amended EA process would also harmonize the federal and provincial EA processes.
Minister’s contacts: Art Chamberlain 416-314-5139 or John Steele 416-314-6666. The complete media release and text from the minister’s announcement is posted at our website.