New Waste Reduction Act to improve Ontario’s waste diversion
The Ontario government has introduced a new waste reduction Act to create jobs and build a stronger, greener economy for future generations. The new Act will replace the existing Waste Diversion Act, 2002.
GLOBE-Net, June 11, 2013 – “Every additional 1,000 tonnes of recycled waste generates seven new jobs.”
That is one of the motivating factors behind a new Act introduced on June 6 as part of an Ontario government plan to create jobs and build a stronger, greener economy for future generations. The new Act will replace the existing Waste Diversion Act, 2002.
Jim Bradley (pictured below), Ontario’s Minister of the Environment explained: “We want an Ontario where waste becomes worth in the form of a cleaner environment, new investment, new recycling factories, new jobs and new Ontario-made products. Our proposed legislation can help get us there.”
About 12 million tonnes of waste are generated in Ontario every year, but only 25% is diverted from landfills and into recycling, mostly thanks to residents’ action. While they are currently diverting about 46% of household waste, the diversion rate for the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors is much lower.
A new Waste Reduction Strategy accompanying the Act offers a blueprint for increasing waste diversion in the province is also being released for public review and comment.
To approach this waste management problem, the Waste Reduction Act was proposed to transform waste diversion in Ontario by making individual producers responsible and environmentally accountable for recycling the goods they sell.
The proposed new Waste Reduction Act would:
- Boost recycling in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector, starting with paper and packaging waste.
- Protect consumers from surprise eco-fees by making sure that recycling costs are included in the advertised price of a product. This move will also incent companies to look for ways to make their recycling processes more economical and stay competitive.
- Improve oversight and accountability of waste diversion by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of individual producers, the provincial government, municipalities and a new Waste Reduction Authority.
- Allow for greater producer funding of the Blue Box program, easing the financial burden on municipal property taxpayers.
- Foster innovation in product and packaging design.
Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director of the Recycling Council of Ontario welcomes the new Act: “The proposed Waste Reduction Act is forward-thinking policy that has clear benefits for Ontario’s environment and taxpayers: increased waste reduction and recycling targets, enforceable standards, and improved accountability that focus on results will position Ontario as an environmental leader.”
“These improvements allow and encourage companies to innovate and invest in Ontario’s recycling industry, and keep valuable materials from disposal,” she added.
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” width=”200″ bcolor=”add3d5″ bgcolor=”add3d5″ image=”null”]About 60 per cent of Ontario’s waste is produced by industries, businesses and institutions such as shopping malls, hospitals and offices, but only 13 per cent of it is recycled.[/stextbox]
Without making these efforts to divert more waste from landfills into recycling, Ontario would face serious consequences in the dwindling capacity of its municipal landfills and experience increasing pressure on municipal taxpayers to fund diversion efforts and deal with rising costs.
To date, several innovative businesses across Ontario are turning waste into new products, generating new investment and creating jobs.
For example, scrap plastics and plastic waste from municipalities are being ground down and converted into new polystyrene moulding and framing products such as photo, picture and mirror frames. Meanwhile, new rubber athletic flooring mats, rubber splash guards and other rubber products are being made from 100 per cent recycled materials.
The proposed Waste Reduction Act is available here: The new Act will be posted for a 90-day public review and comment period from June 06, 2013 until September 04, 2013. Comments can be submitted here:
Solid Waste Management and Producer Responsibility will be a major topics at GLOBE 2014, the next in the celebrated GLOBE Series of Conferences and Trade Fairs on the business of the environment taking place in Vancouver Canada, March 26-28, 2014. Reserve your place now. Check here for more details