Developments from the East Coast
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has announced implementation of a $200 million multi-year provincial waste management strategy. The strategy involves three full-service regional waste management facilities, as well as the establishment of regional waste management authorities in fifteen waste management zones within the province. Each regional authority is intended to assume responsibility for waste management activities within its zone including recycling, waste diversion and composting.
The Nova Scotia Ministry of Environment and Labour recently announced the appointment of an advisory committee to review options for used tire processing in the province. The decision to appoint a committee was prompted by a review of research conducted by Dalhousie University regarding used tires as an alternative industrial fuel.
The study indicates that, on a weight basis, the use of scrap tires in the United States as tire-derived fuel has been steadily increasing and, last year, accounted for approximately 60 per cent of all tires. In Canada, the study indicates that in 2005, 20 per cent of all scrap tires were used as tire-derived fuel and this is, typically, as a supplemental fuel in cement kilns where entire tires can be directly placed into the kiln. The study also identified that tire-derived fuel could be used in the pulp and paper industry and at generating stations.
In Prince Edward Island, the government announced amendments to the Litter Control Regulations under the Environmental Protection Act that will allow beer and carbonated flavoured beverages to be sold in refillable bottles. The amendments will also introduce a deposit/return system for non-refillable beverage containers. The system is expected to be in place by fall of 2007, with beer being available in cans by the summer of 2007 and carbonated flavoured beverages being available in cans and plastic bottles by January 1, 2008.
B.C. considers new materials for stewardship programs
British Columbia has indicated its intention to add two new products every three years to its Recycling Regulation under the Environmental Management Act. The Recycling Regulation currently includes: used electronics (e-waste), tires, used beverage containers, used oil, oil filters and oil containers, waste paint, spent pharmaceuticals, and various hazardous residuals (i.e., flammable liquids, solvents, pesticides and gasoline).
The Recycling Regulation renders the producer responsible for product stewardship including financing the collection and recycling of discarded products. The producer is typically the manufacturer, distributor or importer of the product. Some of the products that British Columbia is considering adding to the Recycling Regulation include batteries, furniture and textiles, packaging, mercury-containing products, construction and demolition waste, and automobiles.
Ontario 3Rs Regs, WDO news
Ontario has begun enforcing its recycling regulations for the institutional, commercial and industrial sectors. In 1994 the province introduced three regulations dealing with: waste audits and waste reduction work plans; industrial, commercial, institutional source separation programs; and, packaging audits and packaging reduction work plans. In 2006, there was an enforcement initiative by the government that revealed that there was significant non-compliance with these regulations. The Ontario government now intends to proceed with more vigorous enforcement of the regulations.
The Ontario government has announced that a review of the Waste Diversion Act, 2002 is planned, with the intended scope of the review being released shortly. In addition, Waste Diversion Ontario has published a draft of its report entitled “Blue Box Program Enhancement and Best Practices Assessment Project,” prepared by a consortium led by KPMG. The report provides guidance on system practices that affect blue-box recycling programs and that achieve diversion objectives in the most cost-effective manner.
Plastic bag initiatives
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) has expressed support for Ontario’s new plastic bag reduction initiative. The initiative involves an arrangement between the Ontario Government, the CPIA, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, the Recycling Council of Ontario and the Retail Council of Canada and is intended to reduce the number of plastic bags distributed in Ontario by 50 per cent over the next five years. The initiative includes in-store and blue-box recycling programs, and consumer education initiatives to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of plastic bags in circulation.
On a local level, the Northern Manitoba town of Leaf Rapids is the first municipality to prohibit retailers from offering or selling plastic shopping bags that are intended for single use.
Call for action on batteries
Environment Canada released a report entitled “Canadian Consumer Battery Baseline Study: Final Report”. The report was prepared by RIS International Ltd., and submitted to Environment Canada, and documents the increasing number of consumer batteries being discarded. The report also provides national estimates of the amount of heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium and lead that are potentially released into the environment through the disposal of batteries. The report indicates that the rate of recycling of rechargeable batteries, which contain toxic substances of concern, is very low.
[Editor’s Note: Readers may be interested to read “Call2Recycle” — a new information service from the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation presented by HazMat Management magazine. Visitwww.hazmatmag.comand click on Susan Antler’s section in “Industry Buzz.”]
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 email@example.com