Solid Waste & Recycling

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Waste Initiatives Across Canada (February 01, 2007)

British Columbia tire program


British Columbia tire program

On January 1, 2007, an industry-led tire recycling program was implemented in British Columbia. The program, which is run by Tire Stewardship B.C. (TSBC), requires consumers to continue to pay a fee on new tires, and return used tires for recycling and processing. As a result of the new program, the government-led Financial Incentives for Recycling Scrap Tires (FIRST) Program, which has been in force since 1991, has ended.

The fee payable under the FIRST program has been replaced with a fee schedule that is based on the collection and processing costs for each tire product. The expected increase in fees for consumers is from $3 to $4 per tire. Revenue generated by TSBC will be used to support tire collection and recycling activities. The program also includes a research and development aspect that is focussed on developing markets for products and scrap tires, as well as a tire stockpile cleanup program.

Electronics recycling in Saskatchewan

A province-wide recycling program for end-of-life electronics takes effect in Saskatchewan on February 1, 2007, and will require purchasers of computers, computer monitors, desktop printers and televisions to pay a fee ranging from $5 to $12 for computers and related components, and from $15 to $45 for televisions.

Funds that are collected through the program are intended to go to the Saskatchewan Waste Electronic Equipment Program (SWEEP) to be used for the collection, transportation and recycling of electronics in Saskatchewan. SWEEP is a Saskatchewan-based, non-profit corporation that represents electronic equipment manufacturers and retailers. SWEEP has contracted with SARCAN to deliver a province-wide collection and recycling program for Saskatchewan residents to dispose of unwanted computers, monitors, printers and televisions at any SARCAN recycling facility across Saskatchewan.

Quebec financing for recycling

ECO Entereprises Quebec (EEQ) has issued several documents that outline industry’s obligations under Quebec’s Environment Quality Act to contribute to financing of the costs of municipal curbside recycling. The intention is that 50 per cent of such costs would be covered by industry. The documents issued describe the types of businesses that will be affected, sources of data for business sectors and examples of materials to be targeted. The documents also provide information required for registration.

Ontario’s new assessment of waste projects

The Ministry of the Environment in Ontario has issued a proposed regulation under the Environmental Assessment Act entitled “Waste Management Projects.” Under the proposed Waste Management Projects Regulation, waste management projects would be classified into one of three categories, each of which would be subject to a different process.

The first category relates to projects with minimal environmental effects that would not require any approval under the EAA. Such projects include transfer, handling and composting facilities processing 1,000 tonnes of waste or less per day; industrial, commercial or manufacturing facilities using energy from waste in their process and using less than 100 tonnes of waste per day; and landfills smaller than 40,000 cubic metres.

The second category involves projects that have predictable environmental effects that can be readily mitigated. Such projects would undergo an environmental screening process, and include transfer, handling and composting facilities processing more than 1,000 tonnes of waste per day; landfills or landfill expansions with total disposal volume of between 40,000-100,000 cubic metres, thermal facilities with energy from waste component; and thermal facilities without an energy from waste component and disposing of 10 tonnes of waste or less per day. The environmental screening process is a self-assessment process with fourteen steps and requiring a minimum of four consultation periods. Failure to comply with these requirements is a violation of the EAA.

The final category relates to projects with the potential for significant environmental impacts and would require an individual environmental assessment. Such projects include final disposal of liquid industrial or hazardous wastes, and large landfills with a total disposal volume of more than 100,000 cubic metres.

Michigan targets Canadian waste

The International Solid Waste Importation and Management Act has been introduced in Michigan, and is intended to curtail the import of solid waste from Canada. The legislation is the same as that which was passed in the House in the 109th Congress, but which was not brought to the Senate before Congress adjourned.

If the legislation is enacted, it requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United Sates to implement and enforce the 1986 Agreement Concerning the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste between the United States and Canada. This Agreement requires Canada to notify the United States before any shipments of waste. The legislation would also require that, when Canada notifies the United States of any shipment of waste, the EPA give deference to the desires of the state receiving the waste as to whether to permit the shipment to occur.

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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