Report to / Rapport au:


Environmental Services Committee

Comité des services de l’environnement


and Council / et au Conseil

10 May 2002 / le 10 mai  2002


Submitted by / Soumis par:  R.T. Leclair, General Manager / Directrice générale

Transportation, Utilities and Public Works / Transport, Services et travaux publics


Contact / Personne-ressource:  P. McNally, Director / Directeur

Utility Services Branch / Direction des services publics

Tel. / tél. (613) 580-2424, ext. / poste 22609

e-mail / courriel:




Ref N°:   ACS2002-TUP-UTL-0020










That the Environmental Services Committee recommend Council approve that staff undertake the development of an integrated waste management master plan, using a two-phased approach as outlined in this report.




Que le Comité des services de l’environnement recommande au Conseil d’autoriser le personnel à entreprendre l’élaboration d’un plan directeur intégré de gestion des déchets fondé sur une méthode en deux étapes comme celle décrite dans le présent rapport.





As the new City of Ottawa develops, there is a need to establish strategic directions in the various areas that reflect issues of importance to the community.  Part of that direction will be established with the development of the City’s new Official Plan.  One area of significant and ongoing concern is the issue of waste management, and how the City will position itself in the future to ensure that its waste management policies, priorities and operations are in line with community values and priorities.  The City's continued growth, increasing community awareness of environmental issues, a more stringent legislative framework, and the availability of landfill capacity in the long term, are issues that contribute to the need for a comprehensive and long-term municipal solid waste strategy for the new City of Ottawa.


Planning History


Waste management policies were developed by the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton (the Region) over the years and have continued to be used to guide the City's operations since amalgamation.  Regional Council approved the Waste Management Master Plan - Interim Review in April 1990.  Prior to that, in June 1989, the Region dissolved a Task Force that had managed the Waste Management Master Plan beginning in April 1984.  Since the approval of the Waste Management Master Plan - Interim Review in 1990, the Region took a gradual planning approach using incremented but coordinated steps.  A series of reports dating back to 1990 outlines the major policies or steps that have been taken.


The Waste Composition Study (1990-92) provided the first overview of solid waste generated and disposed of in the Region, including analyses of the residential and commercial waste streams.  Since that time, several smaller studies have looked at the residential waste stream to update composition and assess material capture rates.  A Construction and Demolition Waste Composition study was conducted in 1998, but it did not assess the amounts generated or provide disposal information.  In January 2000, a Total Solid Waste Flow Study was commissioned to estimate all solid non-hazardous waste generated, diverted and disposed of in the Region of Ottawa-Carleton.  This was essentially an update of the 1990-92 study.  The findings, however, were not 100 percent inclusive as some private-sector data was unavailable.


Two additional guiding reports include the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Study (1995) and the Landfill Optimization Study (1998).  The 3Rs Study has influenced much of the waste diversion work introduced to date; however, waste diversion technology and know-how has improved greatly since 1995.  The Optimization study determined that the City could maintain the Trail Waste Facility's central role in managing the disposal of Ottawa’s residential solid waste.  The Environmental Assessment process for the Trail Waste Facility landfill will be completed in 2002.


National and Provincial Policies


In April 1989, the Canadian Council of Environment Ministers announced a target of reducing solid waste by 50 percent by the year 2000, as part of the National Packaging Protocol.  Interim targets and schedules were established using 1989 as the baseline year.


The Province of Ontario also encouraged these efforts with funding, legislation that enabled municipal initiatives, and regulations mandating recycling and/or composting in larger municipalities and larger industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) establishments.  The 50 percent target, although not legislated, was mentioned in speeches by two former Ontario environment ministers (the Honorable Elizabeth Witmer in April 2001 at a Corporations Supporting Recycling annual meeting, and the Honorable Tony Clement in November 1999 at an Recycling Council of Ontario conference).


Currently, the City receives funding from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for its recycled glass containers (approximately $250,000 per year).  It is anticipated that the possible passage this year of Bill 90 (an Act to Promote the Reduction, Reuse and Recycling of Waste) will see the creation of the Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) agency, governed by a board of directors consisting of municipal, retail, manufacturing, and provincial representatives.  Municipal recycling programs managed by the WDO that are both cost efficient and divert a large portion of the residential waste stream would be awarded funds accordingly.  Preliminary discussions suggest that the new level of funding for recycling programs could be in excess of 40 percent of net costs.  For Ottawa that could be as much as $3 million - $4 million, depending on revenue from recycled products.


Local Waste Diversion Performance


The former Region developed an official plan in 1997 in which the 50 percent diversion target was declared.  The Region’s target was based on 1995 waste generation figures from which a curbside diversion rate of 475 kg per household per year by the year 2000 was derived.  In the year 2000, the actual diversion rate achieved was 369 kg, and this approximate rate is also estimated for the year 2001.


The City of Ottawa diverts 31 - 34 percent of all its generated residential solid waste.  The City’s performance is higher than the provincial average but lower than the elusive 50 percent diversion target.  Municipalities that manage to meet or exceed the target have implemented more aggressive programs such as full organic waste recovery, mixed waste processing systems and/or user pay schemes.





Strategy and Policy Issues


With the resolution of issues related to By-Law 234 involving all the landfills located in the City, and the extensive work on the Trail Waste Facility Environmental Assessment, the City has recently confirmed its commitment to preserve landfill capacity for the long term.  Former commitments to waste diversion have extended the life of the Trail Waste Facility landfill, and the implementation of the 3Rs Study recommendations have allowed the City to achieve the present waste diversion percentage.


In general, waste management programs and technologies have evolved since the 3Rs Study was completed.  In order to move the City of Ottawa's waste management programs beyond the current level, an integrated waste management master plan is required to confirm the City’s waste diversion commitment, to review new processing technologies, and to provide an opportunity to engage the public and private sectors actively in this initiative and allow them the opportunity to provide input on the direction of future waste management programs.


Integrated Waste Management Master Plan


The master planning process is comprised of two key phases.  In phase one, staff will engage a consultant to address critical strategic matters and develop recommendations for Committee and Council consideration, on such issues as:


·           diversion target - 30/50 percent or higher, when, how much;

·           landfill or other disposal means/processing capacity for longer term;

·           open/closed borders with respect to the disposal of residential waste;

·           self-sufficient or role for private sector, including use of City's disposal facilities;

·           regulation/operation - mitigating risks;

·           payment - on the tax base or user pay;

·           public participation/involvement and acceptance of possible plans;

·           commercial service level review.


In phase two, work will focus on identifying, evaluating and outlining waste management options and technologies and how they interrelate, including, but not limited to, collection, co-collection, wet/dry systems, recycling, composting, co-composting (with biosolids), material processing, mixed waste processing, anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, incineration, landfill disposal and landfill gas recovery.  Evaluation criteria will include but not be limited to environmental benefits, cost-effectiveness and public convenience.


It its entirety, the proposed integrated waste management master plan will recommend an approach that provides an appropriate balance between innovative and effective programs and the extent to which they support or enhance sustainability.  State-of-the-art technologies will be evaluated, considering:  costs, risks, and fit within the performance and regulatory criteria of a solid waste management framework.


Master Plan Timeline


Staff will report phase one findings and recommendations to the Environmental Services Committee and Council in the fall of 2002; at which time, policy decisions will be made to provide direction for phase two to be completed by the spring of 2003.  The outcome of phase two will be the master plan itself, which will be presented to Committee and Council for approval.  The collection contract design and tender call will form the first steps of implementation, although it is anticipated that other elements will require concurrent as well as future work.  The major milestones in the master plan development are shown in Attachment A.


Timing Impact on Current Waste Management Contracts


Due to the anticipated timelines, it will be necessary to extend existing contracts.  Current residential waste collection and processing contracts began in June 1999, with an expected termination in June 2004.  Under current arrangements, contracted haulers provide waste collection service according to the fee schedules they submitted in their 1998 tenders.


The City's contracts include an extension provision based on tendered rates adjusted according to the Consumer Price Index.  The extension provision provides the City with the opportunity of postponing the contract tender process for up to two years.  The added planning time will enable staff to complete the two phases of the master planning process, and redesign programs (if appropriate) before tendering the next collection and processing contracts.





The development of an integrated waste management master plan is a key element in minimizing the impact on the environment and ensuring a sustainable approach.





An integrated waste management master plan will review all levels of services from a systems perspective.  Depending on the results of this assessment process, there may be rural (and urban) implications regarding service delivery. 





Public consultation will be a fundamental part of an integrated waste management master plan, in both phases one and two. 





The cost of developing an integrated waste management master plan, and conducting adequate public consultation is projected to be $75,000 - $100,000 for phase one.  The Department's 2002 Capital budget provides funding for this study with the Solid Waste Planning - Long Term, Project #900352.





Attachment A - Integrated Waste Management Master Plan Timeline





The originating Department:


-  will initiate discussions with current contractors regarding a one-year extension of existing contracts; and

-  will develop a Request for Proposals in order to procure consultants to complete phase one of the master planning process.

Attachment A