British Columbia began a comprehensive review of its Waste Management Act in an effort to establish a new regime to ensure the safe management of waste, prevent pollution, and improve accountability and efficiency. The review will examine environmental management tools used in other jurisdictions, such as financial incentives, area-based plans, environmental contracts, covenants and codes of practice, and risk-based classification systems for discharges to the environment. (See Final Analysis column, page 62.)
Alberta container recycling fee
The Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation announced a new funding mechanism to ensure sustainability of Alberta’s container recycling program. The corporation will charge a new fee to participating beverage manufacturers, and the fee will be passed onto consumers directly through the purchase of beverages in plastic, gas, aerosol can or Tetrapak containers.
The fee ranges from zero for aluminum cans, eight cents for one litre glass bottles and 15 cents for aerosol cans. Previously, this fee was included in the cost of the beverages.
Saskatchewan landfill funds
The Saskatchewan Minister of the Environment announced funding in the amount of $300,000 for the Saskatoon Regional Waste Management Association, the Parkland Regional Waste Management Authority and the Red Coat Waste Resource Authority. The funding will be used to reduce the number of landfills, and make improvements to the existing solid waste disposal system.
Ontario blue boxes and green bins
The Ontario Minister of the Environment recently requested that Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) develop a program to increase blue box materials and establish a sustainable funding plan. WDO is a permanent non-government corporation made up of industry, municipal and non-governmental representatives and the environment ministry, and was established with the passing of the Waste Diversion Act in June, 2002. The purpose of WDO is to develop and finance waste diversion programs for blue box materials, used tires, organics such as kitchen waste, household special waste (paints and solvents), used motor oil and electronic items.
The Minister also requested that the WDO board allocate $4-million for direct payment to municipalities to cover their costs to recycle glass alcohol containers through the blue box program for 2002. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario would provide the funds. The board was also asked to finalize its draft operating agreement.
The City of Toronto launched a new green bin program that involves separating organic or “wet” waste. This wet waste is deposited in green bins for disposal, along with other waste and recycling materials.
Collection reg in New Brunswick
New Brunswick published its Garbage Collection Regulation under the Municipalities Act. The new regulation requires all waste intended for curbside or roadside collection to be contained in a bag or cardboard box that is securely closed and meets certain weight and size restrictions. The other option is for the waste to be securely bundled into a package that satisfies the same weight and size restrictions. The new regulation also establishes limits for disposal to no more than 45 kg of waste, and bans the use of plastic shopping bags for waste.
There are separate provisions dealing with wet waste and dry waste. Wet waste, which is classified as waste that can be composted (but not including paper products other than paper towels and tissues), must be contained in a green transparent plastic bag or a reusable container labeled “wet” supplied or approved by a regional solid waste commission. Dry waste, which is classified as waste that cannot be composted (but including paper products other than paper towels and tissues) must be contained in a blue transparent plastic bag or reusable container labeled “dry” or secured in a package.
The regulation also contains provisions that prohibit the disposal of certain materials. These include ashes, rocks, sand or gravel, petroleum products, radioactive or other hazardous waste (identified as dangerous goods under the Federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992), manure, motorized vehicles, snow mobiles and snow blowers, and all terrain vehicles or any part of such vehicles except rubber tires.
Tire recycling in Nfld.
Newfoundland and Labrador recently awarded a company the contract for its used tire-recycling program. This initiative was launched in February 2002, with disposal of used tires in landfill sites banned effective April 1, 2002. A levy of three dollars on all new passenger and light truck tires, and nine dollars on larger tires came into effect at the same time.
In May, the company that was initially awarded the contract for the used tire recycling program withdrew and the government was forced to establish temporary drop-off sites for used tires and issue a new request for proposals. The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board administers the program.