BC proposes to amend recycling reg
British Columbia’s environment ministry intends to revise its Recycling Regulation under the Environmental Management Act in order to clarify existing producer responsibilities under the Tire Stewardship Program.
The Recycling Regulation requires that producers that wish to sell, offer for sale or distribute a product in British Columbia must plan and participate in approved product stewardship programs. In March of 2006, the Recycling Regulation was amended to include a tire product category and to make tire producers responsible for the lifecycle management of tires.
The current definition of “producer” in the regulation imposes responsibility for the lifecycle management of the product on the person responsible for the first sale of that product in British Columbia, but doesn’t include a person who sells new tires that were purchased from others, such as manufacturers or distributors. (For example, if a tire retailer buys a tire from a tire distributor and sells the tire to a consumer, the retailer is not considered the “producer.”)
The ministry is proposing to amend the regulation by expanding the definition of “producer” to capture all persons or parties responsible for any sale of a new tire in British Columbia, including second or subsequent sales. With the expanded definition, the tire retailer will be considered a “producer” and could either develop its own stewardship plan, join other producers in a joint plan, or comply with Part 3 of the regulation, which sets out stewardship requirements where there is no approved stewardship plan. The amendments will specify the date by which retailers will become subject to the producer requirements, including the submission date for stewardship plans and the date for program implementation.
Ontario inspects for compliance with 3Rs reg
The Ministry of the Environment in Ontario has initiated inspections for compliance with provincial waste diversion and recycling regulations. The inspections are specifically targeting industry, businesses, schools, hospitals and other institutions and are intended to ensure that the regulations are being complied with.
The regulations, which came into force in 1994, require businesses and institutions above a specific size to conduct waste audits and prepare waste reduction plans. In addition, owners of establishments must provide for waste to be separated according to material type, and then recycled.
Ministry inspectors have visited 119 establishments since March of 2006, mostly in the Toronto area. Establishments found out of compliance are provided with a 60 to 90 day rectification period before any enforcement action is taken, such as charges for non-compliance. The government expects that increased compliance by the business and institutional sectors will improve waste diversion statistics for Ontario. The current rate for diversion by business and institutional sectors is 20 per cent, compared with 38 per cent for the residential sector.
Alberta focuses on DfE
In Alberta, a new document has been released entitled Designed for Environment (DfE) Opportunities within Alberta’s Waste Stewardship Programs. The document is intended to assess whether the existing stewardship programs (used oil and oil products, non-milk beverage containers, waste electronics and scrap tires) in Alberta promote design for environment.
The document also examines whether the design of products covered by the stewardship programs affects the environmental impact of the product, and end of life performance. It then goes on to identify opportunities within the existing waste stewardship programs for Alberta Environment to stimulate design to prevent waste and improve product environmental impacts across the lifecycle of the product. (See article on LCA, page 22.)
Review of the existing waste stewardship programs found that they were not designed to promote design for environment, and that each program focuses only on the best means of recovery and recycling of the material stream at the end of life. Based on the assessment, it was concluded that DfE is most relevant to Alberta’s electronics and beverage container recycling programs. The assessment also found there are fewer DfE within the tire and used-oil stewardship program.
Newfoundland promotes tire recycling plant
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Ministry of Environment and Conservation and the Chair of the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board announced that the Board has entered into an agreement in principle with an engineering company to establish a technology-based tire recycling plant that would produce recycled products of high value from scrap tires.
The decision to move forward will depend on whether the engineering company can obtain the private investment required to move forward with the proposal. If the company is not successful in doing so, the Board intends to move forward with a tire-derived aggregate business strategy that will involve used tires being processed into tire-derived aggregate under the control of the Board. The aggregate would be used in civil engineering applications throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
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