The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) represents leading companies and public organizations in the waste management sector. OWMA is “the voice of the waste sector” and strives to enhance the professionalism and stature of the waste sector with the public and government at all levels. The challenges and opportunities facing waste management in Ontario have necessitated practical yet innovative policy approaches to be developed by the membership and to be advocated for by the Association. The coming year will be challenging – a provincial election, waste infrastructure capacity problems and waste system economic challenges.
OWMA has translated success into significant membership growth over the past two years with over 125 new members representing an increase of 72 per cent over a 24 month period; this is a massive increase at a time when many organizations are facing reduced membership and resource challenges.
Organics Diversion Strategy/Compost Guidelines: OWMA has developed and approved a waste sector strategy for organics diversion and processing in Ontario. OWMA is engaged with senior management at the Ministry of the Environment on organics processing and composting challenges and is currently engaged in a review to provide comments on the final version of new compost standards and guidelines.
Approvals Modernization: In 2010 the environment ministry’s Approvals Modernization Initiative was launched and OWMA is a member of the permanent Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the initiative. OWMA has participated directly in “Risk Assessments” for CofA (systems) and will be engaged in assessments of other waste management infrastructure.
CVOR Coalition: OWMA has engaged the Ministry of Transportation regarding the CVOR system and the negative impact of new guidelines on public and private low kilometre fleet operators. OWMA has spearheaded the formation of a coalition of industries and municipal organizations with common negative impacts and concerns regarding CVOR to advocate for changes to the Guideline.
Waste Diversion Programs (MHSW & WEEE): Pre- and post the eco-fee debacle, OWMA has pursued public sector and private implementation issues and concerns with WDO programs in MHSW and WEEE. OWMA efforts focus on protecting the interests of the waste management sector and ensuring that WDO plans focus on funding and do not disrupt and displace marketplace relationships between existing parties (municipal and service providers).
U.S. Waste Export: OWMA is monitoring the continued exporting of waste to US jurisdictions – the Michigan/Ontario waste agreement and issues associated with continued IC&I waste export. OWMA is engaged in consultation with Environment Canada regarding CEPA regulatory changes for the export of non-hazardous waste to U.S. jurisdictions.
Leadership Initiative: OWMA embarked on the most significant new waste management sector initiative since the creation of the Association over 25 years ago. The “Leadership Initiative” and new Code of Ethics have changed how OWMA accepts new members and the expectations of the Association relative to the ethical business conduct of member companies. The ethical business conduct of OWMA members is fundamental to establishing organizational and industry credibility and creating marketplace dynamics whereby responsible and ethical companies can compete and users of member services are protected.
Accreditation Program: OWMA has initiated a new accreditation and certification program for waste sector personnel and the first two accreditation programs are under development for release and delivery in 2011. This program may be linked to a national accreditation program through a new waste sector association at the national level.
National Association: OWMA has led the formative actions for a national waste management sector association and has completed an initial federal incorporation of a national organization. Development of a national association will be an ongoing priority in 2011.
Hazardous Waste: OWMA has established a new Hazardous Waste Caucus of members with an interest in hazardous waste management and WDO MHSW program issues.
Rob Cook is Executive Director of the OWMA. For more information about membership with the OWMA, please visit www.owma.org or contact Michele Goulding at 905-791-9500 or email@example.com
This is a new regular column from the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) to inform readers of events and news relevant to OWMA members and the waste sector in general. — ed.