Solid Waste & Recycling


What's new… (April 01, 2006)

One thousand days to 60 per cent...

One thousand days to 60 per cent

According to The Composting Council of Canada (CCC), as of Friday April 7, 2006, there will be 1000 days remaining for the Ontario objective of 60 per cent diversion to be achieved.

“We believe that this is a good day to ‘get out the vote’ (so to speak),” says Executive Director Susan Antler, “and for our Ontario members to meet or contact their local member of provincial parliament.” Fridays, she notes, are usually the day when the M.P.P. is back at his/her constituency office, so direct meetings could possibly be arranged.

The CCC advocates that people can use this opportunity to:

— introduce/reinforce your presence in the community and your abilities to help reach Ontario’s diversion goal;

— discuss what is needed to ensure that the Ontario goal is achieved.

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, the CCC would be pleased to help you. In addition to leave-behinds that you will have for your organization, the CCC can provide promotional support materials and copies of articles, etc. They only need to chat with you first. The CCC can also try to set up specific appointments with your M.P.P. The CCC has announced that it will develop key message points based on the input that it has received from Ontario members re: existing roadblocks that need to be removed to make composting in Ontario more attainable.

For further information or assistance, contact Susan Antler or Danielle Buklis at 416-535-0240 or 1-877-571-GROW(4769) or or visit

Website helps with plastic bag recycling

The Canadian plastics industry is asking consumers across the country to reuse and recycle their plastic shopping bags, and has set up a website to encourage them to do so.

“These bags are much too valuable a resource to be thrown out after a single use,” says Paul van der Werf, Municipal Representative for the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) in Ontario.

Many plastic shopping bags are re-used. According to a new public opinion poll conducted by Decima Research, 90 per cent of Canadians say they re-use these bags for a variety of purposes (e.g., lunch bags, liners for waste containers, to pick up after pets, etc.).

In response, the industry has launched a website — — which offers practical and helpful consumer information on bag recycling. For example, visitors can learn the four steps to properly preparing bags for recycling. They can check to see if their municipality provides curbside collection, and find the nearest retail stores that have bag take-back programs.


Birett leads new AMRC board

The Association of Municipal Recycling Coordinators (AMRC) has confirmed its new board of directors for the coming year.

Mike Birett of York Region is AMRC chair, while Joe Hall of the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre serves as vice-chair. Cathy Wiebe of Wellington County is treasurer; Kim Kidd Kitagawa of Waterloo Region is secretary. Other members are Anne Boyd (City of London), Pat Parker (City of Hamilton), Rosanne Fritzsche (Town of Richmond Hill), Jen Turnbull (City of Guelph), Rob Rennie (Peel Region) and Clayton Sampson (County of Oxford).

The Guelph-based association is entering its 20th year and has come a long way since a few municipal staff met informally in the late 1980s to discuss their fledgling recycling programs, noted Birett. In addition to its primary mandate of sharing expertise and information among its members, the AMRC is now playing a major role in shaping policy.

For more information, email Executive Director Vivian De Giovanni at

Teck Cominco plans to place e-waste in lead smelter

Teck Cominco in B.C. plans to place waste televisions and computers into a lead smelter to recover lead, zinc and cadmium.

The company has received approval from the B.C. Ministry of Environment to conduct a large-scale test of its recycling process at the Trail lead smelter that consume up to 3,000 tonnes of electronic waste.

Consumers will pay a surcharge on new TVs, computers, and printers, beginning in mid-2007, to pay for e-waste recycling. The Trail smelter could ultimately take in up to 20,000 tonnes of discarded electronics. Teck Cominco works with a local recycling company, KC Recycling, to collect the waste and pulverize it into bits that are about five centimetres in diameter. Smelter staff then feed the pulverized waste into one of the smelter’s furnaces, which incinerates the plastic, wood and other burnable parts of electronics gear and melts the metals.

Lead will be separated into the plant’s lead smelting process to be re-cast into new lead. The zinc and cadmium will also be separated out. Any copper, iron ore in the steel of casings and frames, trace amounts of silver and gold will find their way into residual material called ferrous granules, which will be used in the production of cement.

Initially most of the material will come from Alberta, where consumers pay an advance recycling fee on electronic goods to pay for diversion from landfill. B.C.’s plan moves in a similar direction.

Peel calls for deposits on water bottles

Peel Region, Ontario is calling for producers to either pay the full cost, or collect via deposit-refund system, a new generation of large water bottles that are beginning to appear on the market.

It used to be that the large polycarbonate bottles that sit on top of water coolers have been re-useable, but a new type of “recyclable” bottle is entering the market. As its use increases, the single-use bottles will become a burden for municipalities and increase costs for local governments and taxpayers. Water service companies and retailers could end up externalizing their costs onto the public, and dismantle the refilling system.

Peel waste management director Andy Pollock says the region has been forced to add a $250,000-per-year sorting line at its new recycling facility to remove the containers that otherwise would contaminate the cardboard portion of the recyclable material stream.

The large bottles cost a lot to collect because they’re voluminous, filling almost half a blue box and causing collection trucks to fill more quickly. Failing to collect them for recycling wouldn’t solve anything as then they’d have to be shipped in garbage trucks to Michigan landfills.

“We are in the process of working with the various stakeholders,” says Elizabeth Griswold, executive director of the Canadian Bottled Water Association. “We’re just trying to work out all of the little details.”

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