Solid Waste & Recycling

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Waste Initiatives across Canada (February 01, 2010)

Newfoundland waste paint proposal


Newfoundland waste paint proposal

The Department of Environment and Conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador has been consulting on a proposed new extended producer responsibility program for the recycling of waste paint. The objective of the program is to assist in achieving the 50 per cent waste reduction goal of its provincial solid waste management strategy. Under the proposed program, paint producers and manufacturers would be required to develop, finance and manage the collection and recycling of their paint products. Producers would have the option of initiating their own program, or participating in a program operated by a non-governmental industry stewardship organization. Producers must demonstrate that waste paint is being recycled in an acceptable legal manner, and that new environmentally sustainable products are being developed.

Quebec’s three draft waste regulations

The Draft Recovery and Reclamation of Products by Enterprises Regulation will introduce a new stewardship program for electronics, batteries, fluorescent lamps and mercury lamps. This regulation is intended to facilitate imposing stewardship requirements on various products. The objective is for all stewardship fees to be internalized, rather than being imposed at the retail level.

The Draft Charges Payable for the Disposal of Residual Materials Regulation will, in an effort to divert waste, almost double the provincial surcharge on waste sent to landfills. The objective is to bring the cost of disposal in line with the cost of diversion. The additional fee will only be in place for five years, and will be returned to municipalities to assist in developing an organics recovery infrastructure.

Quebec also plans to follow Nova Scotia’s initiative by banning the disposal of wastes in landfills, where viable alternatives exist. Paper and cardboard products will be the first items banned. Manufacturers and brand owners of packaging and printed materials will cover all net municipal recycling costs for their products (double what’s currently required).

The Draft Financial Guarantees Payable for the Operation of an Organic Matter Reclamation Facility Regulation will require organics processing facilities to post a financial guarantee with the government. Quebec also intends to promote organics diversion and has set aside $650 million to support the construction of a province-wide infrastructure. Once this infrastructure is in place, organics will be banned from landfills.

PEI recycling reg

The Materials Recycling Regulation under the Environmental Protection Act came into force in Prince Edward Island on December 26, 2009. The regulation prohibits the unauthorized operation of a recycling facility, and defines the process and associated requirements to apply for a recycling facility permit. The regulation also defines the process and associated requirements for applying for approval of an electronic material stewardship program. Retailers are required to prominently display education and awareness program information that is supplied by brand owners or brand owners’ agents to the retailers. Brand owners or brand owners’ agents who operate an electronic material stewardship program are required to inform the environment minister — in writing by June 30 of each year — of the total quantity of electronic products collected during the previous calendar year. The regulation prohibits the sale, transfer, discarding or disposal of used oil, unless disposal occurs at a return facility, or is delivered to a retailer that provides short-term storage of used oil.

Yukon waste action plan

The Government of Yukon has released an action plan for sustainable waste management intended to reflect Yukon’s unique climate. Challenges to delivering a solid waste disposal program include the remoteness of northern communities and the lower tax base available for funding waste programs due to the small population.

A new solid waste advisory committee will provide a forum to discuss waste management issues for municipalities, First Nations, industry stakeholders and certain territorial departments. The plan outlines how Yukon intends to modernize and improve solid waste management practices through community partnerships and exploration of future opportunities. In 2009, Yukon undertook an extensive review of its solid waste operations with the objective of modernizing and improving them. The review assessed all of Yukon’s solid waste facilities and conducted research into approaches in other jurisdictions. Current options for waste disposal include open-trench burning and burial, burn vessels and burial, and transfer stations. Alternatives under consideration include regional landfills, transfer stations with regional landfills, and high-temperature incineration with emission controls.

Manitoba moves on plastic bags

Manitoba’s conservation minister announced several actions to reduce the use of plastic bags in that province. Plastic carry-out bags must contain a minimum of 50 per cent recyclable material within five years. (The current standard is a minimum of 25 per cent recyclable material.) In addition, all stores distributing plastic bags must have take-back programs for recycling, and all plastic sold or distributed in Manitoba must be imprinted with a message reminding users to recycle or reuse the bag. Finally, all compostable or biodegradable plastic bags must be required to meet national or international standards and be certified as such. Manitoba is also considering banning empty plastic bags from landfills altogether and requiring larger municipalities to collect and recycle plastic bags.

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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