Solid Waste & Recycling

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Waste Initiatives across Canada (August 01, 2010)

Newfoundland targets wine bottles


Newfoundland targets wine bottles

The Multi-Material Stewardship Board’s Solid Waste Management Innovation Fund and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are supporting a new initiative in St. John’s, Newfoundland aimed at enabling recovery and reuse of wine bottles. The initiative is, apparently, the first of its kind in North America. The project involves the development of an industrial-level system for recovery, de-labelling and sanitization of wine bottles. The company proposing to conduct these activities is Ever Green Environmental Corporation, which has indicated that it will provide 500,000 wine bottles annually for use by wineries in Newfoundland. This equates to an annual reduction of approximately 2,500 metric tonnes of greenhouse gases.

The challenge associated with large volume recycling of wine bottles relates to the wide variance in shapes, sizes and dimensions of wine bottles, and the variety of labelling materials and methods of label adherence. Ever Green Environmental has developed a process to address sanitization, de-labelling, recovery and reuse in a single integrated industrial process.

Almost 2.5 million bottles are imported into the province annually by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation, private companies and wineries. These bottles are sourced from Europe via air cargo to Montreal and truck transport to St. John’s, and then redistributed to local operators. The life cycle for such bottles is currently a one-time use, after which they are crushed and the material shipped out of province for recycling. (See the next edition for detailed coverage.)

Saskatchewan adds new WEEE products

Saskatchewan has amended its Waste Electronic Equipment Regulations to add a new class of products to the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP). The products to be included are personal or portable audio or video playback systems and home audio and video playback or recording systems. The proposed amendments also include home theatre-in-a-box systems, vehicle audio and video systems, and non-cellular telephone or answering machines. Fees range from 40 cents to six dollars depending on the device.

Alberta targets plastic bags

Alberta has joined a number of other provinces and municipalities that have undertaken initiatives relating to plastic bag usage and reduction. The government has announced an agreement with the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers and the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores. The agreement is to voluntarily reduce the use of plastic bags in Alberta by fifty percent by 2013. Currently, there are approximately 900 million plastic bags in use each year in the province.

PEI e-waste recycling program

The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Forestry in Prince Edward Island has announced that, as of July 1, 2010, electronic waste will be diverted from landfill sites. This decision is based on a plan to manage a recycling program for electronic waste that was submitted by Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship and accepted by the government.

Atlantic Canada Electronics Stewardship is an industry organization that represents electronics manufacturers, distributors and other stakeholders. As of July 1, 2010, a fee will be charged on the purchase of new electronic products as a means of funding the cost of the recycling program. Products included in the plan that will no longer be accepted in residential solid waste carts or commercial waste collections include computers, televisions, portable stereos and CD players, VCRs and DVD players and non-cellular telephones.

Transboundary waste movement consultation

The federal government has undertaken a process of public consultation in order to update Canada’s regulatory framework for the transboundary movement of waste and hazardous recyclable materials. The objective is to streamline Canada’s regulations and ensure that practices are harmonized with international standards and agreements. Some of the regulations that will be updated include the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations, 2005, the Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations, 2002 and the PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996.

The review includes examining regulatory provisions governing the export and import of non-hazardous waste for final disposal and the export and import of designated electrical and electronic equipment destined for final disposal, recycling or reuse. The review will also examine streamlining and integrating provisions for the export and import of hazardous waste containing PCBs, and simplification of interprovincial requirements and alignment with requirements under other regulations. The intent is to improve the enforceability of the legislation, while reducing administrative and paperwork burden on stakeholders.

Beverage container recovery programs

Alberta’s Beverage Container Management Board has released a paper that analyses beverage container recovery programs and costs associated with such programs across Canada. The paper entitled “Who Pays What: An Analysis of Beverage Container Recovery and Costs in Canada 2010” identifies trends and examines container reuse and recycling programs across Canada. The paper concludes that the beverage industry in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick (for liquor), Yukon and Northwest Territory bears no cost to operate the provincial collection and recycling programs. Instead, the system costs are paid for by the “wasting consumer” — defined as the consumer that does not return containers for recycling, and by the recycling consumer. (See the previous edition of this magazine for further details.)

Rosalind Cooper, LL.B., is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario. Contact Rosalind at rcooper@tor.fasken.com


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