Solid Waste & Recycling


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OWMA releases major IC&I waste study...

OWMA releases major IC&I waste study

The Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) has released a major research report on the private sector waste industry and the Industrial, Commercial & Institutional (IC&I) sector in Ontario. The report was commissioned by OWMA and was undertaken by Maria Kelleher of RIS International Ltd. (who is also a contributing editor to Solid Waste & Recycling magazine). The report addresses IC&I waste generation, diversion and disposal with specific emphasis on waste diversion infrastructure and landfill disposal capacity deficiencies in the province. It offers an in-depth look at how many facilities of various types exist in the province, and how much of what types of material they can recycle or otherwise process or dispose.

Four additional Excel datasheets on Ontario transfer stations, landfills, MRFs and organics processing facilities are available to OWMA members only. The datasheets will be maintained and updated on a regular basis for member’s usage.

The report can be accessed on the OWMA website at

Ontario expert EA panel releases recommendations

The expert panel convened to make recommendations to the Ontario government on the province’s environmental assessment process has tabled its report, which the government has released. The expert panel recommends changes for environmental assessments, and the government has invited public comment.

The expert panel consulted with experts in the field and recommends a comprehensive framework for changes to Ontario’s EA process. The panel was appointed in June 2004 and asked for recommendations that would improve the EA process for waste management facilities, transit and transportation projects, and clean energy facilities.

The report is available on the ministry website at (click on Environmental Registry and search for XA04E0015). The deadline for comments is July 4, 2005.

For further information, contact Arthur Chamberlain, minister’s office, 416-314-5139 or John Steele, communications branch, 416-314-6666.

Setback for landfill expansion opponents

The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that it will not hear appeals brought by the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and Tyendinaga citizens concerned about the legality of an environmental assessment of the Richmond landfill expansion project in eastern Ontario. The court also ruled that residents must pay the legal costs of Waste Management of Canada to defend the appeal.

Waste Management is proposing to expand the former municipal landfill to 750,000 tonnes of garbage per year from the current 125,000 tonnes. Opponents have fought the proposed expansion since 2000 The company is expected to submit its final application to the environment ministry in late spring or early summer, and a final decision will be made by Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. Interestingly, Dombrowsky hails from that area and opposed the landfill expansion when she was a member of the opposition government.

Company spokesperson Wes Muir was quoted in local media saying the company is pleased with the decision because it “validates our terms of reference.” It is not known how long the ministry’s review of the proposal will take and no date has been set for opening of the expanded facility.

Michigan’s proposed fee hike inspired by Ohio

Michigan politicians who seek to curtail Ontario garbage shipments have found inspiration in Ohio as that state debates more than doubling its tip fees. Ohio is considering a proposal to raise the fees it charges at state landfills to US $4.75 per ton, an increase of $2.75. Michigan Democrats are calling on the Republican-dominated state legislature to raise Michigan’s fees to $7.50 from the current 21 cents per ton.

Michigan House Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum was quoted saying, “While other states are increasing their dumping charges to deal with their waste problems, Michigan is alone in offering bargain-basement prices to the waste industry.” Toronto officials said in February that the Democrats’ proposal would add CAD $10-million to the approximate $54-million annual cost of shipping the city’s waste to Michigan.

Intercon Solutions moves US plant

Intercon Solutions, one of the first companies in the e-waste recycling business to attain ISO14001 certification and perform its own Phase One environmental audits, is relocating its major plant from its current location in Chicago to nearby Chicago Heights.

According to the company, Intercon doesn’t sell any material as a reusable product; instead, all material is recycled for base material value. The company says this gives clients an extra level of security knowing that their assets will not come back to haunt them somewhere down the line.

Intercon Solutions has housed it electronics de-manufacturing and plastics and metals recycling operations out of a solid brick and almost historic building located on Chicago’s far west side for the past 17 years. One of the company’s founders has been recycling metals and managing assets for automotive industry original equipment manufacturers for over 40 years and has actually been at this facility for the last 25 years.

The new facility is on 14.4 acres and will serve as an industry showplace. Intercon will maintain it’s Chicago facility for a couple of it’s large-volume Chicago-based customers Intercon also operates plants in Vancouver and Toronto.

Contact Brian Brundage, CEO, Intercon Solutions, 888-452-5642 or

Unisphere to file for bankruptcy

On March 2, 2005, scrap tire and rubber recycler Unisphere Waste Conversion Ltd. (symbol UCB TSX V) announced in a press release that it has been exploring the possibility of obtaining additional financing from existing lenders. The company has been informed that such additional financing is unlikely to be provided.

Defaults with lenders have been described in the company’s press releases dated February 1, and February 8, 2005. The company is unable to settle current liabilities as they become due. No other sources of financing are currently available. As a result, Unisphere has filed a Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal to its creditors under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada). Last year Unisphere consolidated much of the tire recycling business in Ontario through a string of acquisitions.

For further information, contact

Didsbury Alberta landfill expansion

The Mountain View Regional Waste Commission (MVRWC) hopes that the provincial budget (expected next week) will offer $500,000 that that can be put toward the expansion of the Didsbury landfill, which serves Mountain View County, from Sundre to Olds to Carstairs, and everywhere in between.

The facility was constructed last year with the understanding that another phase would have to be built in the near future. The first phase included the initial set-up, road construction, and the construction of a small cell using a grant from Alberta Environment. Phase two of the landfill should support the growth of Mountain View County until at least 2008, before another phase is added.

With the MVRWC using the Didsbury landfill, tip fees have been reduced from $67 per tonne to $50. Prior to the Didsbury landfill site opening last year, the majority of waste was hauled to the City of Calgary’s Spy Hill location.

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