Solid Waste & Recycling


Waste Initiatives across Canada (December 01, 2009)

BC cell phones recycling

BC cell phones recycling

“Recycle My Cell” is a free program organized by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), in conjunction with cell phone service providers, handset manufacturers and recycling companies. The objective of the program is to raise awareness about the importance of cell phone recycling, and prevent these and similar devices from ending up in landfills.

“Recycle My Cell” is intended to meet the requirements of the Recycling Regulation which makes producers responsible for the end-of-life management of their products, including collection and recycling. A similar recycling program for televisions and computers was launched in 2007, and the Recycling Regulation has now been expanded to include several other electronic products, including mobile phones.

A web-based program provides information for those seeking drop-off locations to recycle their old cell phones. Cell phones, pagers, wireless personal digital assistant devices, headsets, chargers, batteries and other accessories are all accepted at designated collection sites, regardless of brand, model, age or functionality. Scrap materials generated from recycling activities will be used to produce new mobile devices and a variety of other items and a donation to participating charities is made for each device returned. Instructions are given for removing personal data from the phones before drop off.

Ontario renewable energy regs

On September 24, 2009, Ontario’s Renewable Energy Approval Regulation came into force. The regulation is intended to streamline the environmental approvals process with respect to wind, solar, biomass, biogas and other prescribed renewable energy projects, thereby encouraging and facilitating their development.

The reg has been promulgated under the Environmental Protection Act and includes a six-month service guarantee whereby all required approvals (including planning approvals, environmental assessments, certificates of approval, permits to take water, etc.) will be issued as part of a single submission. Additional approvals will be required for certain sensitive projects situated on protected properties, archaeological resources or heritage sites. (See article, page 38. ) Projects situated within a prescribed distance from certain water bodies will require a water assessment. There are specific transition provisions to cover renewable energy projects that are already underway. Projects with existing CofAs and permits won’t a renewable energy approval.

The Ontario Renewable Energy Facilitation Office has been created to assist in expediting projects. The province has set domestic content requirements to ensure at least 25 per cent of wind project costs and 50 per cent of large solar project costs involve Ontario0-sourced goods and labour.

The FIT Program (Feed-in Tariffs) will offer long-term price guarantees for renewable electricity generators. For example, there is a guarantee of 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour for landfill gas projects larger than 10 MW. The FIT Program also includes additional price guarantees for aboriginal and community projects to encourage participation. The tariffs are intended to cover total project costs and provide a reasonable rate of return over a 20-year contract.

New Quebec residuals policy

Quebec has released a Residual Materials Management Policy pursuant to the Environment Quality Act. The policy contains measures to address three main challenges, namely: ending resource waste; promoting the goals of the Climate Change Action Plan and the Quebec Energy Strategy; and, making all stakeholders responsible for residual materials management.

Measures prevent and reduce residuals generation by targeting product manufacturing and marketing; recycling and reclamation is promoted. Producers will be required to take into consideration the environmental effects of their products, and the costs associated with recycling, reclamation and disposal of residual materials. The policy will apply to all residual materials generated in Quebec by households, industries, businesses and institutions, including those produced by construction, demolition and renovation (CDR) activities.

The intent is that, by 2015, the quantity of residual waste sent for disposal will be reduced to 77 kg per resident, with 70 per cent of paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal waste recycled as well as 70 per cent of CDR waste being sent to a recycling centre. Other targets for 2015 include the processing of 60 per cent of organic putrescible waste using biological processes (such as land farming and composting), and the recycling or reclaiming of 80 per cent of waste concrete, brick and asphalt.

Ontario compost guideline

Ontario’s environment ministry has released the draft “Guideline for Composting Facilities and Compost Use in Ontario” for public comment. The guideline includes best management practices and guidance for compost facilities and municipal waste managers. To give legal effect to the proposed compost standards and restrictions, the ministry is proposing amendments to Regulation 347 under the Environmental Protection Act.

Some of the guidelines relate to the location and design of facilities; others concern equipment usage and operating procedures. The ministry is proposing new compost categories that would allow the composting of additional materials (such as septage, sewage biosolids, and pulp and paper mill biosolids). The guideline sets out quality standards for each category of compost and establishes restrictions for the use of each category (based on the quality of the product and the risks associated with its application).

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

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