Solid Waste & Recycling

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Waste Initiatives Across Canada (April 01, 2009)

National EPR action plan


National EPR action plan

The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) has posted a discussion paper regarding its proposed “Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility.” The discussion paper states that Canada has not made sufficient progress with respect to the diversion of solid waste, and provides statistics in support of this statement. The paper notes that Canadians generated 1,100 kilograms of municipal solid waste per person in 2006 — an increase of 8 per cent from 2004. In addition, the paper notes diversion from landfill and incineration has remained at 22 per cent, unchanged since 2004.

The discussion paper defines extended producer responsibility as “an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of the product’s life cycle”. The Canada-wide Action Plan is intended to provide guidance on the development and implementation of extended producer responsibility programs across the country and encourage producers to adopt full life-cycle cost accounting for their products.

The plan would encourage Canadian jurisdictions to develop EPR legislation to ensure that certain products and materials are included in operational programs within a specified timeframe. The products and materials targeted include: packaging and printed materials; compact fluorescents and other lamps containing mercury; electronics and electrical products; household hazardous and special wastes; automotive products; construction and demolition materials; furniture; textiles and carpet; and, appliances. (See page 7 for more details.)

BC expands recycling reg

British Columbia’s Recycling Regulation has been amended to expand the list of products subject to product stewardship requirements.

As of July 1, 2010, the electronic and electrical product category of Schedule 3 of the regulation will be expanded to include information technology or telecommunication devices or equipment; small appliances (such as floor and carpet appliances, knives, hair dryers, scales and portable fans); audio visual and consumer equipment (such as radio sets, cameras, microphones and headphones; lighting equipment, parts and bulbs); electronic toys; and smoke detectors, alarm systems and thermostats.

As of July 1, 2012, the electronic and electrical product category will be extended to include large electronic and electrical appliances (such as refrigerators, freezers, clothes washing machines and stoves); and electrical or electronic tools such as drills, saws, sewing machines and snow blowers.

Producers must submit, on or before January 1, 2010, a product stewardship plan respecting those products that will be included in the regulation as of July 1, 2010 and, on or before January 1, 2012, a plan for those products that will be included as of July 1, 2012.

Ontario used tires plan

Ontario Tire Stewardship has submitted a used tires program plan to Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) for review and evaluation. The plan was approved by the Board of Directors of WDO subject to certain revisions. The revised plan has now been submitted to the minister of the environment.

The Used Tires Program Plan addresses tires of all types for passenger and commercial on-road and off-the-road motorized vehicles. The plan is intended to provide opportunities for individual consumers and businesses to direct their used on-road and off-the-road tires to reuse, re-treading and recycling programs, and will be supported by a promotion and education program to encourage householders and businesses to participate. Financial incentives will be provided for organizations that collect, transport and process used tires in a manner that results in 90 per cent diversion of used on-road tires in the first year of the program and 50 per cent of off-the-road tires by year five of the program.

The main objective of the plan is to support and expand a collection system comprised of registered collectors, including tire dealers, auto wreckers, municipal depots and other collection agents accepting used tires from consumers. Other objectives of the plan are to clean up, within three years, all used tires currently being stockpiled, and to implement vendor qualification requirements to ensure used tires are collected, transport and processed in a safe and environmentally sound manner.

The plan will collect $73.9 million in tire stewardship fees from brand owners and first importers of tires supplied to the Ontario market. The plan proposes a commencement date on the first day of the fourth month following approval of the plan unless the commencement date would fall in October, November, or December, in which case the commencement date will fall on the first day of the following January.

Alberta targets C&D waste

The Alberta Ministry of Environment is working in conjunction with the Alberta Construction Association and Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Alberta to develop a program to recycle construction and demolition (C&D) waste; this constitutes 23 per cent of waste directed to landfills in Alberta.

The program is expected to be launched by 2010 and aims to divert a greater percentage of C&D material from landfills — making the program the first of its kind in Canada — and to increase the recycling of building materials including concrete, asphalt, wood and drywall.

SO “Do What You Can” initiative

The industry funding organization responsible for blue box materials and municipal hazardous or special waste programs, Stewardship Ontario (SO), has launched a new initiative entitled “Do What You Can.” This initiative is intended to make it easier to recycle old batteries, paints, solvents and other household hazardous wastes by enabling drop off of these materials at locations other than municipal waste depots such as RONA, Home Depot, Jiffy Lube auto centres and others. The goal of the program is to double the amount of municipal hazardous or special waste diverted from landfill over the next five years. The program is funded through SO by brand owners or importers of the designated products.

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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