Solid Waste & Recycling


Waste Initiatives Across Canada (February 01, 2006)

New Brunswick stewardship board...

New Brunswick stewardship board

Proposed legislation recently tabled in New Brunswick will establish a stewardship board through amendments to the Clean Environment Act. The board will manage the manufacture, storage, collection, transportation, recycling, disposal, or other handling of a designated material. The board will also ensure that industries carry out these activities in accordance with a stewardship plan approved by the board. The proposed legislation provides for regulations to be developed to set fees for the administrative costs of the stewardship board. Interestingly, the rules will prohibit industry from charging separate fees to consumers with respect to the costs associated with implementing and operating a product stewardship plan.”

B.C. codes of practice

The Ministry of Environment in British Columbia intends to establish codes of practice for the vehicle dismantling and recycling industry, and for the use of industrial wastes as soil enhancements. The ministry recently introduced “Intentions Papers” for these two areas to provide background information, outline existing environmental concerns and set out the proposed contents for each code of practice.

A code of practice under British Columbia’s legislation is a legally binding and enforceable set of rules that address environmental protection measures and other actions that are expected by the ministry. A code of practice can also be supported by guidelines and/or best management practices that provide further direction relating to practices and procedures; however, these do not have the force of law.

The vehicle dismantling and recycling industry is defined as “establishments engaged in wrecking or dismantling of vehicles, or in recycling or disposing of parts and other waste material from vehicles.” Operations from this industry have the potential to cause significant environmental damage through the release of contaminants to the environment. The ministry’s objectives are to prevent pollution; support waste reduction, reuse and recycling; foster environmental stewardship; streamline standards and improve monitoring, reporting and compliance with regulations to protect human health and the environment.

The ministry also intends to establish a code of practice for the beneficial use of specified industrial wastes on land in order to provide consistent requirements across the province, and to protect the quality of soil and groundwater on sites where wastes are applied. Industrial wastes or byproducts (such as lime, ash and biosolids) have been recognized and used as soil amendments to improve soil characteristics, or to provide nutrients for crop growth in agricultural or forestry applications. An added benefit is that the use of industrial residues for soil amendment can divert significant quantities of waste from landfill or incineration.

Alberta, Quebec and Ontario have regulations or processes in place governing the use of industrial wastes for soil amendment on land. In British Columbia, some limited land application programs have been allowed under permits and short-term approvals. The proposed code of practice would set limits on the concentration of listed substances in specified industrial wastes that could be applied to land. These wastes are fly ash, primary or secondary pulp or paper mill wastewater treatment residuals, lime mud, water treatment residuals, and wood. Waste that exceeds the established concentrations for listed substances would not be governed under the code of practice, and would require a permit or approval for disposal or use.

Manitoba tire stewardship program

Manitoba’s Conservation Ministry has accepted a recommendation from the interim Tire Stewardship Board regarding a stewardship program for tires that will be led by industry. The interim board consulted with processors, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for tire recycling. The model recommended by the board was based on that of the Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corporation, an organization with an industry-led board that oversees the recycling of oil and oil products.

Manitoba intends to support the program by contributing up to $500,000 to ensure that processors’ funding will be maintained, and to support the recycling of off-road tires. It is expected that the new model will be established in the first part of this year.

Alberta electronics recycling depot in Toronto

The Electronic Recycling Association of Alberta (ERA) was established as a not-for-profit organization in Calgary about four years ago. The purpose of the ERA is to collect, distribute and recycle computer equipment, and the ERA works with the public and private sectors to assist both companies and individuals deal with unwanted electronic items. The ERA donates a large portion of the computers collected to charities and non-profit groups in Alberta and British Columbia. The ERA is also a wholesaler for used computer equipment, and receives requests for used equipment from countries all over the world.

The ERA focuses its efforts on the reuse of electronic equipment, promotes environmental protection and is committed to environmental stewardship. Items requiring recycling are sent to certified recyclers in an effort to ensure that high environmental standards are applied to the management, handling and disposal of electronic equipment. The ERA also partners with other organizations on research and development initiatives in an effort to reclaim useful materials from electronic waste.

The ERA has depots located in several provinces, but has recently opened a computer and electronics recycling depot in Toronto. The depot will receive computer and electronics equipment intended for donation or recycling from both businesses and individuals.

Rosalind Cooper, LL.B. is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with offices across Canada. Ms. Cooper is based in Toronto, Ontario. E-mail Rosalind at

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