Solid Waste & Recycling

Feature

Waste Initiatives across Canada (June 01, 2009)

BC commissions recycling study


BC commissions recycling study

The Ministry of the Environment in British Columbia commissioned a study by an Ottawa-based consultant to review the province’s Recycling Regulation and encourage “Design for the Environment” initiatives. The results of the study are detailed in a document entitled “Design for the Environment (DfE) Best Practices Lessons for British Columbia’s Ministry of the Environment.”

DfE initiatives are intended to improve the environmental performance of a product throughout its entire lifecycle. Design strategies include selecting low impact materials, using clean production technologies, optimizing distribution systems and enhancing use-phase attributes. A significant component also involves ensuring that the product has minimal impact on the environment once it reaches the end of its use.

The study identified opportunities to incorporate design for the environment practices through amendments to the Recycling Regulation or through voluntary initiatives, and identified challenges in initiating design for the environment programs. These challenges include setting appropriate standards, stakeholder engagement, and providing incentives for producers. The study provided suggestions for overcoming the challenges identified.

Ontario e-waste program starts

On April 1, 2009, Phase I of Ontario’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment program took effect. The program is managed by Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) and is expected to divert an additional 160,000 tonnes of waste electronics from landfills over the next five years. A network of collection sites to drop off unwanted electronics have been established and include municipalities, retail stores such as Sears Canada and Staples, and community service organizations such as Salvation Army Thrift Stores. The program is funded through fees paid to OES by “stewards,” which include brand owners and first importers into Ontario.

NWT fibre recycling launched

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in the Northwest Territories has launched a new paper and cardboard recycling initiative. Funding for the initiative will be available for municipalities, organizations, businesses and individuals through the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act. Funding is for the development of alternative end-of-life uses for large volumes of paper-based materials that are recovered or diverted from waste streams.

Ontario approves scrap tire program

Submission of an industry-funded used tires program plan to Ontario’s environment minister was discussed in the April/May edition of Regulatory Roundup. The Used Tires Program Plan has now been approved and includes tires of all types for passenger and commercial on-road and off-the- road motorized vehicles.

The program will be administered by Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS) commencing in September 2009. The program is targeted to recycle 91 per cent of used car and truck tires into higher end uses in the first year of the program’s operation, and to clean up three million used tires stockpiled across Ontario. The program will also recycle large industrial and off-road tires that are not currently collected or recycled, and will include funding for public education programs and research regarding means of recycling tires in a “greener” manner. An added feature is encouragement of development of green technologies in Ontario.

Manufacturers, brand owners and importers will pay an estimated $74 million in the first year to run the program by paying a fee to OTS based on each tire introduced into the market. The fee established is $5.84 for a passenger vehicle tire, with fees increasing for larger tires. (See Waste Business column, page 20.)

FCM takes aim at bottled water

The Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has passed a resolution proposed by the Cities of Toronto and London to encourage members of FCM to phase-out of the sale and purchase of bottled water at their own facilities, where potable water is available.

The resolution provides that the production and transport of bottled water consumes significant amounts of non-renewable fossil fuels, creating unnecessary air quality and climate change impacts, and that the recycling of bottled water containers is not sufficiently advanced in that 40 to 80 per cent of empty bottles end up in landfills.

Ontario revises incineration guideline

The Ministry of the Environment has posted notice of proposed revisions to its guideline entitled “Guideline A-7: Combustion and Air Pollution Control Requirements for New Municipal Waste Incinerators.” The guideline, which was initially published in 1996, was last revised in 2004. The intent is for the guideline to be renamed “Air Pollution Control, Design, and Operation Guidelines for Municipal Waste Thermal Treatment Facilities.” The revisions would update air emission limits and operational requirements for thermal treatment facilities processing municipal waste, including facilities that combust by-products generated as a result of the thermal treatment of municipal waste.

Proposed revisions to the current guideline include more stringent emission limits for cadmium, lead, nitrogen oxides, organic matter, and particulate matter based on limits used in other jurisdictions and capabilities based on current technologies. In addition, a more stringent limit would be adopted for dioxins and furans to move towards virtual elimina- tion of these chemicals. There would also be new emission limits for opacity and for carbon monoxide.

The revisions would provide special consideration for experimental units and small units in remote areas in northern Ontario, and provide additional guidance on continuous or long-term monitoring requirements. The proposed revisions would also include further guidance on determining site-specific emission limits for cement kilns using municipal wastes as alternative fuels.

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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“Toronto and London will encourage FCM members to phase-out the sale and purchase of bottled water at their own facilities.”


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