Report confirms Nova Scotia waste reduction success
Nova Scotia Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash expressed pride on July 7, that an independent research group has endorsed Nova Scotia’s solid waste resource management strategy. His comments follow release of a two-year study by Genuine Progress Index (GPI) Atlantic that concluded Nova Scotia’s method of handling solid waste is reducing air pollutants, reducing energy consumption and saving taxpayers money.
Mr. Morash credited Nova Scotians for their part in the province’s success, saying their adoption of good recycling and composting practices was critical. The department is currently developing a program to recover and recycle electronics. Stewardship programs are already in place to recycle products like paint, rechargeable batteries and tires.
Proposed changes to the province’s Environment Act, which are open for public comment until Aug. 23, would increase fines for illegal dumping and littering. A copy of the report can be accessed on-line at www.gpiatlantic.org
Contact Barry Friesen at 902-424-2645 or firstname.lastname@example.org You can review the website to learn more about Nova Scotia’s success at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/emc/wasteman and also look up the Extended Producer Responsibility section which highlights this year’s national EPR Workshop held this past March in Halifax, Nova Scotia: www.gov.ns.ca/enla/emc/wasteman/epr
Hamilton to build centralized composting facility
Hamilton City Council has announced that it has awarded the design, construction and operation of a centralized composting facility to Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd. According to city officials, this move represents a strong commitment toward developing a waste management system capable of handling residential wastes in an economically, environmentally, and socially-responsible way. The facility is to be located at 1579 Burlington Street East in Hamilton at the same location where blue box materials are currently processed.
The facility will process organic material such as meats/bones, fruit/vegetable peels, and other food wastes collected from households beginning in 2006. The facility will be constructed in 2005 and open for January 1, 2006. The technology being used was developed in the Netherlands and is currently being used in 30 facilities in Europe, South Africa, Australia and Canada for composting of agricultural wastes, sewage sludge municipal organic wastes
A Public Advisory Committee concluded that a centralized composting facility is a key component to a waste management system needed to reach an aggressive target of 65 per cent waste diversion by 2008. While the facility is being constructed in 2005, staff will also be focusing their attention on rolling the program out across the city starting in early 2006. Residents will receive a “green cart” made of plastic, with handles to push and wheels to roll it out to the curb on a weekly basis. The material will be collected and composted at the central facility.
Contact Beth Goodger, Director of Waste Management, 905-546-2424 ext. 4409 or at email@example.com
Nanaimo may ban organics from landfill
The Regional District of Nanaimo is working toward an amendment to one of its garbage bylaws to ban commercial organics from the Cedar landfill. Alan Stanley, the RDN’s solid waste program coordinator, said it’s estimated about 30 per cent of the solid waste going to the rapidly filling landfill is compostable organic material.
The RDN and the Cowichan Valley Regional District recently commissioned a report thoroughly reviewing new residual waste management technologies. The report looked at a number of new approaches rather than traditional landfilling, including bio-fuels and fermentation. The RDN concluded none of these technologies have been proven and are expensive, with costs ranging from $70 to $217 per tonne.
The report, prepared by consultants at Gartner Lee Ltd., concluded that traditional diversion activities may be the preferred option at this time. A new berm being built at the south-end of the Cedar landfill could add seven to 10 years of use to the landfill.
Markham targets 70 per cent waste diversion
On July 5, 2004 the Town of Markham, Ontario launched the first phase of a new “3-stream” residential collection program that will include organics. Mayor Don Cousens announced Markham will aggressively target a waste diversion rate of 70 per cent – one of the highest diversion targets in Ontario.
The new 3-stream collection system is one component of a comprehensive waste management plan called “Mission Green,” which includes enhancements to the Blue Box recycling program. The Mayor said that 3-Stream will cut the number of transport trailer loads of Markham garbage going to Michigan landfill sites by an additional 656 trucks or 21,000 tonnes of garbage annually.
In 2003, Markham’s diverted 35 per cent of its residential waste (27,203 tonnes) through blue box recycling, leaf and yard waste composting, backyard composting, a ban on grass clippings, a recycling depot and appliance recycling programs. With the implementation of the “3-Stream” program, an additional 21,000 tonnes of garbage will be diverted annually.
For more information, contact Claudia Marsales, 905-477-7000, ext. 3560.
West Grey considering EFW facility
Council for West Grey County in Ontario has approved an agreement with Rodan Power Corporation of Mississauga to conduct a feasibility study for a $5-million energy-from-waste (EFW) facility for garbage in West Grey. The decision follows a presentation to council on July 5 by Rodan president Paul Grod on how his company could burn waste to drive turbines to generate energy. The company would sell that energy back to the municipality below market cost. Steam could also be harnessed by industry.
The feasibility study is expected to cost $100,000, half of which will be funded by West Grey through 200 hours of in-kind services (staff will provide information to the engineers conducting he study). Rodan plans to apply to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Funds program for a $50,000 grant to cover the remaining costs. The study is expected to take about four months.
“Council has decided to support the feasibility study and see whether we have enough waste to enter an energy-from-waste project and whether the costs are beneficial to us,” said Mayor Delton Becker. Becker said the proposal could extend the life of the municipality’s three active landfill sites by 50 years. The life expectancy of the sites is currently about 25 years.
Maxus signs agreement with Motorola Canada
Maxus Technology Corporation, (OTC BB: MXUS) a leading provider of electronic waste (e-waste) recycling and asset recovery solutions, and Motorola Canada Ltd., a global leader in providing integrated communications and embedded electronic solutions for consumers and business, have announced that they have entered into an agreement to provide asset recovery services for approximately 30 to 40 thousand Motorola brand phones over the next two quarters. The intention is to refurbish and resell the Motorola branded cell phone into international markets.
For additional contact Todd Heinzl at 408-782-2005 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister approves stewards’ 2004 fees
On Tuesday, June 30, Ontario’s minister of the environment approved new stewards’ fees for the July 1 to December 31, 2004 period. Revised fee rates were required by the minister when she approved the Blue Box Program Plan (BBPP). They reflect a negotiated estimate of the net cost of Ontario’s municipal blue box system, designed to close the gap between the estimates used for projecting fees in the approved BBPP
and the actual costs of municipal recycling programs as determined subsequently by Waste Diversion Ontario.
For assistance, please call Stewardship Ontario’s customer service representatives at 1-888-288-3360 or email email@example.com
Toronto to try billboard-type public garbage bins
The City of Toronto has approved a decision to experiment with public waste bins attached to lighted billboard-type advertising the size of a bus shelter. The scheme is highly controversial but a three-month pilot project was given the green light by members of the policy and finance committee and council, so residents will have a chance to try out the design this fall.
One style, with advertising, features two lit panels about 7 1/2 feet high (230 cm) and six feet wide (180 cm) with garbage and recycling bins inserted at either end. About 130 of these will be scattered across Toronto. Another 44 smaller bins (five feet or 150 cm high), without advertising, will also be used across the city.
Spokesmen for business improvement associations across the city were concerned about the idea, fearing the large advertising panels would block street views and sight lines.
But Rolando Garcia, CEO of Eucan (Urban Equipment of Canada, Inc., which designed the signs) said his company’s new bins have more capacity and more options for different types of garbage (gum, cigarettes) and recycling (dry and organic) than the 4,000 metallic bins currently on the street. He also noted the city will share in revenue from the advertising on the trash bins.
The ad size fits with international standards for billboard-type advertising, in theory making it easier for Eucan (and the city) to earn advertising revenue. Eucan bought out OMG Media, whose contract to supply the city with garbage and recycling bins — with advertising on the side — runs until 2009. The city, unhappy with the design of the OMG bins, asked the new owner to make improvements. In response, Eucan proposed an extension of the contract to 2015. It now hopes a successful pilot project will convince the city to accept the new design. If successful, Eucan hopes to provide the city with 1,500 of the large-scale bins and 1,500 of the smaller ones. The existing metallic silver bins would be stripped of advertising.
Vancouver’s Ashcroft landfill moves closer to approval
Despite opposition from a local coalition, directors of the Greater Vancouver Regional District voted in early August to send a proposal for a new GVRD landfill on to the next step of an environmental review process, with a plan to opening the facility in 2007.
The landfill would be built on private land bought by the GVRD in 2000 because its Cache Creek landfill will be full by 2008. The sandy soil near Ashcroft is considered perfect for such a landfill. The site is 60 kilometres west of Kamloops.
A 55-day public consultation period will begin in late August, then go on to the provincial environmental assessment office. From there, it goes to three ministers who have 45 days to respond. The process could stretch up to six months before receiving final approval.
GVRD chief administrative officer Johnny Carline has been quoted saying that the region will vigorously pursue initiatives to reduce the amount of garbage the district produces, but some residue will always remain. He says having a local landfill is better than garbage export to Washington or Oregon.
Representatives of the Nlaka’pamux Tribal Council oppose the plan and resent the garbage being sent to their back yard. Chief Bob Pasco said the district board appeared unwilling to budge from a predetermined plan.
“I think there’s a better way to deal with it,” Pasco said. “That’s our homeland…and it’s going to be there forever.”