Solid Waste & Recycling

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OWMA's Ethical Business Program

The impact of the Ontario Waste Management Association’s (OWMA) new ethical business program developed over the past two years is beginning to be felt in the marketplace. Over time, many customers in both the industrial, commercial and...


The impact of the Ontario Waste Management Association’s (OWMA) new ethical business program developed over the past two years is beginning to be felt in the marketplace. Over time, many customers in both the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) and residential sectors have come to recognize the value of dealing with service providers that are members of associations like the OWMA. These service providers are generally viewed as better informed and more aware of current or impending changes to regulatory requirements. Information and training also positions association-based service providers to better anticipate business changes in the future; their business models are more secure and efficient, ultimately resulting in more efficient and competitive services.

The ethical business initiative is the most significant new waste management industry initiative since the creation of the association over 25 years ago. The ethical business program has implications on how OWMA accepts new members and the expectations of the association relative to the ethical business conduct of member companies. The program has been established and implemented to ensure that member companies are beyond reproach and do not engage in unethical or illegal business practices. The program was designed to expand OWMA’s role in the larger waste sector marketplace to provide customers with the security of knowing that third-party oversight of service companies was in place. This security was envisioned to lead to recognition and preference being given to OWMA members in the marketplace.

The recognition of the OWMA program by waste generators and customers has always been viewed as the ‘litmus test’ for the success of the program. Customer organizations like the Ministry of Defence (Canada) have required potential bidders on hazardous waste service contracts to be OWMA members for some time.

The recognition of the value of the ethical business program to both service providers and customers was recently acknowledged when the City of Toronto made OWMA membership a mandatory requirement for bidders on two major Requests for Proposals (RFP) for the Green Lane Landfill in London. This is the first major municipality to adopt OWMA membership as a mandatory requirement. It’s envisioned that more municipalities and major private sector companies will adopt membership as a requirement of doing business.

Ontario approvals modernization

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment has announced the next phase of approvals that will be included on the new electronic registry developed under the Approvals Modernization initiative. Important to the waste sector is the inclusion of “Systems” approvals for waste and recycling vehicles as an approval that will now be electronic. The ministry is discussing the standardized regulatory requirements that will accompany an electronic registration and OWMA is engaged in consultation with the ministry on a number of issues. It’s anticipated that the approval for waste and recycling vehicles will be streamlined and timelier under the new registry. Ongoing reporting requirements on vehicle fleets appear to be eliminated under the new system. The Phase 2 approvals are anticipated to be “live” on the registry in the spring of 2012.

Rob Cook is Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) in Brampton, Ontario. Contact Rob at rcook@owma.org


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