New National Vehicle Scrappage Program
The Clean Air Foundation is launching, with the support of the Government of Canada, a new national vehicle scrappage program in January, 2009. It involves $92 million in funding to offer rewards to those that retire older polluting vehicles. The rewards offered under the program include a public transit pass, membership in a car sharing program, $300 in cash, or a rebate on the purchase of a newer vehicle. The program is expected to remove at least 50,000 older vehicles a year from the road. This, in turn, would remove an estimated 2,250 tonnes of pollutants from the air each year, and help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This is because older vehicles are estimated to emit nineteen times more pollution than models produced in 2004 and later.
Environment Canada has also been working with the Automotive Recyclers of Canada to develop a national code of practice for vehicle recycling to ensure that high environmental standards and consistent practices across Canada are applied to vehicles that are scrapped under the program. Recyclers participating in the program will be required to follow the code. For example, recyclers are required to ensure that when the cars are crushed, shredded and recycled for steel, they are as free of hazardous materials as possible.
Methane collection required for Ontario landfills
Regulation 347 under the Environment Protection Act which deals with waste management has been amended, as has Ontario Regulation 232/98. The amendments will require that all operating landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres install methane collection systems. The Ontario government has provided $10 million to assist municipalities pay for some of the capital costs of the required methane collection systems.
Manitoba requires producer responsibility
Manitoba intends to pass a regulation that will require manufacturers of tires, electronics, household hazardous wastes and all blue box products to set up systems to collect and properly dispose of these items. Once the regulation is introduced, it’s expected that the new industry-run collection and disposal system would be operational in a year’s time. The intent is for industry to design and pay for the systems, and then either absorb the cost or pass it on to the consumer by increasing the cost of the items.
The regulation will target four waste areas including tires, electronic waste (such as computers, phones, televisions and stereos), household hazardous waste (such as cleaners, paint, pesticides and fuel), and blue box items (such as cardboard and aluminum). While several other provinces have similar stewardship programs in place, few have programs that include all four waste types.
Ontario tire, WEEE and battery programs
In Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment has directed Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) to develop a new self-funding tire recycling program. The intent of the program is to recycle 90 per cent of used tires by the fifth year of the program. WDO has also been directed to formulate a plan to clean up existing tire stockpiles. The ministry has requested that a program be submitted for review by the end of 2008, and that it include truck and car tires, off-road tires, and industry/farm vehicle tires.
The ministry has also advised that the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program Plan, which was submitted by WDO in March of 2008, has been approved. The plan provides that industry will pay 100 per cent of the costs of the diversion program.
Stewardship Ontario (SO) has posted guidelines with respect to waste batteries. The guidelines are entitled “Interim Program Guidelines for Waste Primary Batteries” and set out objectives with respect to proper management of waste primary batteries. In addition to other requirements, the guidelines provide that all collection sites and entities providing services to SO must register with SO prior to commencement of any service activity and, if providing transportation services, be authorized by SO to transport consolidated waste primary batteries from collection sites to a processor approved by the organization. In addition, if providing sorting and/or processing services, the collection site must enter into a contractual agreement with SO.
Nunavut reduces use of shopping bags
The Government of Nunavut has announced that there will be a reusable bag program launched in order to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags. The program involves the distribution of bags that are made of recyclable material that are machine washable. The bags are designed to carry 11 kilograms of groceries or other goods. The Department of Environment in Nunavut has indicated that it will distribute 40,000 of these reusable bags to households across Nunavut in an effort to decrease the use of plastic shopping bags. (See article, page 32.)
The City of Iqaluit in Nunavut has also launched a program to assist in eliminating old vehicles and scrap metal from the city. The program is entitled the “End-of-Life Vehicles Repatriation Program.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Department of Environment in Nunavut has indicated that it will distribute 40,000 of these reusable bags.”