3.             Ottawa’s Waste Plan – Phase 1: Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals, Objectives and Targets

 

                Plan de gestion des déchets d’Ottawa -- Phase 1 : Vision, buts, objectifs et cibles

 

 

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That Council approve:

 

1.                  The following vision statement for Ottawa’s Waste Plan:  "By 2042, Ottawa will have room in its municipal landfill because as a community we improved our rates of reducing, reusing and recycling, and managed our assets wisely."

 

2.                  The guiding principles, goals, objectives and targets set out in Document 1, which received broad public support.

 

 

RECOMMANDATIONS DU COMITÉ

Que le Conseil approuve :

1.                  L’énoncé de vision suivant pour le Plan de gestion des déchets de la Ville d’Ottawa :

« D’ici à 2042, il y aura de la place dans les sites d’enfouissement municipaux, car en  tant que communauté, nous aurons amélioré nos taux de réduction, de réutilisation et de recyclage des déchets, et géré nos biens judicieusement. »

 

2.                  Les principes directeurs, les buts, les objectifs et les cibles largement appuyés tels que décrits dans le présent rapport et établis dans le Document 1.

 

 

 

DOCUMENTATION :

 

1.                  Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability report dated 15 November 2011 (ACS2011-ICS-ESD-0036);

 

2.         Extract of Draft Minute 15 November 2011, follows the French report.


 

Report to/Rapport au :

 

Environment Committee /

Comité de l’environnement

 

November 15, 2011 / le 15 novembre 2011

 

Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager /

Directrice municipale adjointe

Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability /

Services d’infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités

 

Contact Person/Personne-ressource :

Dixon Weir, General Manager/Directeur général

Environmental Services / Services environnementaux

(613) 580-2424 x22002, Dixon.Weir@ottawa.ca

 

City-Wide / À l’échelle de la Ville

Ref N°:ACS2011-ICS-ESD-0036

 

SUBJECT:    Ottawa’s Waste Plan – Phase 1: Vision, Guiding                                                             Principles, Goals, Objectives and Targets

OBJET :         Plan de gestion des déchets d’Ottawa -- Phase 1 : Vision, buts, objectifs et cibles

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATION(S)

That Environment Committee recommend that Council approve:

 

1.                  The following vision statement for Ottawa’s Waste Plan:  "By 2042, Ottawa will have room in its municipal landfill because as a community we improved our rates of reducing, reusing and recycling, and managed our assets wisely."

 

2.                  The guiding principles, goals, objectives and targets set out in Document 1, which received broad public support.

 

 


 

RECOMMANDATION(S) DU RAPPORT

Que le Comité de l'environnement recommande au Conseil d'approuver :

1.         L’énoncé de vision suivant pour le Plan de gestion des déchets de la Ville d’Ottawa :

« D’ici à 2042, il y aura de la place dans les sites d’enfouissement municipaux, car en  tant que communauté, nous aurons amélioré nos taux de réduction, de réutilisation et de recyclage des déchets, et géré nos biens judicieusement. »

 

2.         Les principes directeurs, les buts, les objectifs et les cibles largement appuyés tels que décrits dans le présent rapport et établis dans le Document 1.

 

 

Assumptions and Analysis

 

The City is developing a Waste Plan to guide management of recyclables and garbage over the next thirty years.  The plan is needed to realize both the long-term and the short to mid-term stewardship, sustainability, governance and financial goals established by Council and contained in the 2010-2014 Term of Council Priorities.

 

Development of Ottawa’s Waste Plan is identified specifically as Strategic Initiative 27 in the 2010-2014 Term of Council Priorities, under the Strategic Objective ES3 – Reduce Environmental Impact. The plan will also contribute to the Strategic Objectives of making sustainable choices and aligning strategic priorities with Council’s tax and user fee targets.

 

This report addresses Phase 1 of the waste planning process: establishment of the plan’s vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives and targets.  The next two phases, to be completed in 2012, will assess ways to achieve these outcomes and propose an implementation plan and budget for the first ten years.

 

In October 2011, a Discussion Paper (see Document 2) was released setting out a variety of issues to be addressed by the plan. These issues range from the pressures of increasing population and waste generation to providing quality customer service and the protection of public health and the environment.

 

Public feedback on the Discussion Paper was obtained through a combination of workshops with key stakeholders, public events held across the city, and an on-line questionnaire.  Key stakeholders felt that the recommended approach was realistic and would move the city towards its diversion goals.  In summary, there is broad community support for the leadership role Council has taken on waste management and the draft vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives and targets as outlined in Document 1.

 


 

These included:

 

§  Following the waste hierarchy;

§  Minimizing waste generation;

§  Maximizing waste diversion;

§  Reserving municipal landfill capacity for residential residual waste; and

§  The City leading by example.

 

Furthermore, public feedback yielded direction on the following matters:

 

§  Public Education – The most frequently heard comment during stakeholder consultations was the need to enhance public education, particularly to change behaviour and explain the value of taking action, and the consequences of inaction.

 

§  Managing Waste Locally – Nearly 90 per cent of website respondents and three quarters of those attending public events felt it important to find local solutions.  Over 70 per cent felt the City should take a leadership role in exploring opportunities for regional waste management.

§  Managing Business and Institutional Waste – Nearly three quarters of event attendees and just over half of website respondents felt that these sectors should retain responsibility for the management of their waste, but indicated a desire for the City to increase its role. In addition, two out of three respondents felt it important that the City have access to waste statistics from these sectors.

 

Adoption of the vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives and targets, set out in Document 1, will provide the City with a sound policy foundation upon which to evaluate alternative management approaches for the short and mid-term during the next phase of the waste planning process.

 

It will also provide stakeholders, including other levels of government, with an understanding of the City’s values and approach to waste management, and place the City and Council in a leadership position on municipal waste management long-term strategy development.

 

Financial Implications:

 

There are no financial implications associated with this report. Any costs and financial implications will be identified in Phase 2 of the plan.

 

Public Consultation:

 

The recommendations presented in this report were developed using input received from key stakeholders and members of the public. Refer to the DISCUSSION section for details of the consultation activities carried out during Phase 1 of the planning process.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Ottawa is expected to grow by 300,000 people over the next 30 years, and with this growth, total waste generation is projected to increase from 340,000 to 450,000 tonnes/year.[1]  The City needs a plan to guide solid waste management over this period, and to make progress towards achieving the national capital area’s vision of zero waste, as set out in Choosing Our Future.

 

Ottawa’s Waste Plan will build on a number of key decisions Council made that have significantly increased the curbside diversion rate, which remained fairly constant at around 32 per cent for the past decade. These include implementation of the Green Bin program, which saw the curbside residential diversion rate jump to 44 per cent, and more recently, Council’s decision to move to bi-weekly garbage collection that will take effect November 2012 and is expected to increase this rate to 53 per cent by the end of 2013.

 

Other waste diversion and management changes approved by Council in recent years include:

 

§  Recycling facilities at Trail Waste Facility were upgraded in 2009;

§  The Blue Box program was expanded to include a wider variety of materials in 2011; and

§  Phase-in of blue, black and green bin programs in all City buildings is to be completed by 2014.

 

These Council decisions have allowed the City of Ottawa to move from one of the lowest waste diversion rates in Ontario to one of the best diversion rates in a few short years, and development of Ottawa’s Waste Plan will build on this success.

 

Still, there are challenges to be met. The activities identified above will go a long way towards minimizing residual waste from the residential sector and city facilities, however, they do not mitigate the total volume of materials being generated, or address the on-going need for public education; gaps in the regulatory environment; collection, processing and disposal issues; and waste generated by local businesses and institutions.

 

While several of these matters are outside the control of the City, they have direct bearing on how Ottawa manages its waste, and they are areas where the City can exercise influence.  Accordingly, this plan addresses not only matters over which the City has direct control, such as residential waste management and the municipal landfills, but also provides a framework that will allow the entire community to play a meaningful role in the minimization and management of waste.

 

 


 

DISCUSSION

 

Development of Ottawa’s Waste Plan is being carried out in three phases.

 

During Phase 1 (July-October 2011)

 

§  Residential and industrial, commercial, and institutional (IC&I) waste projections were developed by material type.

§  Targeted consultations were held with key stakeholders to identify issues and develop a 30-year vision.  Approximately 200 people were invited with over 60 participating in half-day workshops (see Document 3 for list of participants.)

§  Waste plans were obtained from other jurisdictions to identify alternative approaches.

§  Provincial documents were reviewed to confirm regulatory and other requirements.

§  Municipalities were approached in eastern Ontario and west Quebec to assess the local waste management environment, with 32 responding including the cities of Gatineau and Cornwall.

§  A Discussion Paper was released for comment that identified a range of issues and proposed the draft vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives, and targets of the waste plan.

§  Release of the Discussion Paper was promoted through a PSA and advertisements in local papers, was posted on the City’s website, and copies distributed to all City libraries.

§  Public feedback was obtained via both key stakeholder and community consultation events and an on-line questionnaire. Over 650 responses were received on the City’ website and another 200 via iPads at local events (see Document 4 for questionnaire and analysis of feedback).   Thirty stakeholder groups participated in the fall consultations (see Document 5 for the list of participants.)

§  Results were reviewed and changes made to the draft policies, as recommended herein.

 

Phase 2 (December 2011-June 2012) will examine a variety of options for achieving the Plan’s vision, goals, objectives and targets.

 

Phase 3 (July-November 2012) will set out a detailed short-term (10-year) implementation plan and requisite budget to achieve recommended 2015 and 2022 targets.

ANALYSIS

 

Document 2 contains the Discussion Paper: Goals and Target Setting Ottawa’s 30-Year Waste Plan, which formed the basis of phase one consultations.  The paper outlines key issues to be addressed by the plan, including:

 

§  Waste minimization and diversion;

§  Asset and financial management;

§  Management of social and environmental impacts;

§  Customer service;

§  Provincial relations; and

§  Data sharing and reporting.

 

In summary, responding stakeholder groups and the general public indicated strong support for the draft vision, goals, objectives and targets recommended on these matters.

 

The Discussion Paper and on-line questionnaire also tabled three policy questions to the public:

 

1.      Should Ottawa’s waste be managed locally?

2.      Should the City take a lead role in investigating opportunities for regional waste managment?

3.      Who should manage business and institutional waste?

 

The following sections explore these subjects and provide the rationale for two additional goals and related objectives.

 

Managing Waste Locally

 

At present, almost all residential waste generated in Ottawa is processed and disposed of in Ottawa[2], while most institutional, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste is exported, much of it to northern New York state.  Of all of the facilities located within Ottawa to transfer, process and dispose of waste, only two are owned by the City, though most provide or have previously provided services to the City.

 

Nearly nine out of ten short questionnaire respondents and more than three in four website respondents said that local waste management solutions were important or somewhat important to them.  Furthermore, over 70 per cent of respondents to both questionnaires felt the City should show leadership in developing local facilities for locally generated recyclables. There was also strong support for preserving City-owned landfills for residential residual wastes.

 

The extent to which the City can pursue this direction is limited in part by market and financial realities.  One key variable is the ability to secure materials both inside and outside of Ottawa.  When questioned about waste facilities and capacities, over 55 per cent of the 32 municipalities that responded to Ottawa’s questionnaire indicated that they administer dual recycling program similar to Ottawa’s, and 16 per cent deliver an organics program.  In addition, 75 per cent of the 32 municipalities stated that they own a landfill, with most of those facilities predicted to reach capacity in less than 30 years, i.e. within the life span of this waste plan.

 

For these reasons, the public was asked how important it is that the City assumes a leadership role in exploring and planning regional waste facilities, with just over 70 per cent of respondents indicating it is somewhat important or important to them.  Given the potential opportunities and benefits of managing waste on a regional basis, and strong community support for the development of local markets and facilities for recycling, the following additional goal was added:  Manage waste locally.

 

Managing Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (IC&I) Waste

 

Over 85 per cent of on-line respondents indicated that their workplace had some form of waste recycling, with respondents reporting the following programs in effect:

 

§  95 per cent collect paper and/or cardboard;

§  78 per cent collect plastics;

§  88 per cent collect bottles and/or cans; and

§  20 per cent collect food wastes.

 

There are systemic challenges facing local businesses and institutions, particularly amongst large institutions, the food industry, and the construction and demolition sector (C&D), such as the following:

 

§  Lack of knowledge regarding the options available or expertise on how to implement them;

§  High cost of diversion collection and processing;

§  Lack of local processing facilities for certain materials;

§  Generation of special wastes or wastes in quantities that pose operational challenges; and

§  Limited financial resources.

 

Almost 75 per cent of respondents felt that local businesses and institutions should retain primary responsibility for the management of their waste.  However, when asked whether the City should increase its role in the management of IC&I waste, over 65 per cent of website respondents felt it somewhat important or important.  Furthermore, over 70 per cent felt it somewhat important or important that the City take a leadership role in developing local facilities and markets for recyclable materials.  On this basis, the following additional goal was added:  The City actively supports waste diversion by local businesses and institutions.

 


 

Other key findings of phase one that will prove instructive during the next stage of the planning process include the following.

 

§  Almost 40 per cent of website respondents indicated that they cannot reduce the amount of waste they generate (e.g., by buying less or reusing more), with over 30 per cent confirming this sentiment despite knowledge of the cost to establish a new landfill.  And 20 per cent of respondents indicated that they would achieve a reduction in waste by recycling/composting more.  Unfortunately, recycling and composting do not reduce the total volume of waste to be managed; therefore total waste generation will likely continue to climb without reductions in the packaging of goods, the introduction of mechanisms that facilitate reuse, and changes in public attitudes.

 

§  Between 25 and 78 per cent of website respondents indicated that they do not recycle one or more of the following materials: a variety of food tubs, milk cartons, juice boxes, glass bottles, bleach containers, clamshell packaging, plastic egg cartons, empty aerosol cans, empty paint cans, aluminum foil, take-out tins and pastry trays, and plastic planting trays.  This represents significant potential for increased diversion amongst residents.  However, when asked how easy it would be to add one or more of these “lost” materials to their recycling bins, in many cases few respondents indicated a willingness to add certain products.[3]  The underlying causes of this behaviour must be addressed if the City is to achieve its blue box capture rate targets.

 

§  Of the 32 municipalities that responded to the Ottawa survey, 38 per cent indicated that they are considering implementation of a green bin program. Twenty-eight percent responded that they own at least one transfer station.  And, almost all indicated that existing third-party contracts end by 2018.  If there is political will amongst the various municipalities, opportunities may exist for financially viable and environmentally sound regional waste solutions over the mid-term.

Next Steps

 

Phase 2: Strategies to Achieve Goals and Targets  

 

The purpose of phase 2 is to determine HOW we can achieve the objectives, for example:

 

 

For each of the goals and objectives approved by Council, a range of tools, infrastructure and technologies will be identified and evaluated to determine which are most appropriate for the short to mid-term.  Options will be evaluated in consultation with the public, and will include:

 

 

Infrastructure requirements, such as transfer stations and drop-off depots, will be identified, as well as technologies required in the short to mid-term. 

 

Draft results will be tabled in spring 2012 for approval.

 

Phase Three: Develop Short-Term Implementation Plan 

 

The purpose of phase 3 is, to develop a short-term (10-year) implementation plan to achieve the recommended 2015 and 2022 targets, which will include:

 

 


 

RURAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no rural implications.

 

 

CONSULTATION

 

The recommendations presented in this report were developed using input received from key stakeholders and members of the public. Refer to the DISCUSSION section for details of the consultation activities carried out during Phase 1 of the planning process.

 

 

COMMENTS BY THE WARD COUNCILLOR(S)

 

Not applicable.

 

 

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

 

 

There are no legal impediments to implementing the recommendations in this report.

 

 

RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS

 

Development and implementation of a waste plan is a key means of mitigating short and mid-term risks to the City arising from the challenges of waste management.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no financial implications associated with this report. Any costs and financial implications will be identified in Phase 2 of the plan.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Adoption and implementation of Document 1 will help further achievement of the City’s environmental goals as set out in Choosing Our Future and Ottawa’s Environmental Strategy.

 

 

TECHNOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

 

There are no technical implications.

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

 

Development and implementation of a waste plan is listed as Strategic Initiative 27 in the 2010-2014 Term of Council Priorities under the Strategic Objective ES3 – Reduce Environmental Impact. The plan will also contribute to the Strategic Objectives of making sustainable choices as set out in Strategic Initiative GP3 and aligning strategic priorities to Council’s tax and user fee targets.

 

 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION

 

Document 1- Ottawa’s Waste Plan:  Phase 1 Recommendations

Document 2Discussion Paper: Goals and Target Setting for Ottawa’s 30-Year Waste Plan

Document 3Memorandum: Summary of Workshop Discussions, City of Ottawa Waste Management Plan, September 1, 2011, Golder Associates

Document 4Ottawa’s Waste Plan, City of Ottawa, Draft Report, 2011-222, Nanos Research, November 9, 2011 (issued separately)

Document 5Phase 1 Stakeholder consultations: Summary Report and Key Findings from Workshops, October 2011, PACE Public Affairs and Community Engagement

 

DISPOSITION

 

ESD to examine options for implementing the goals, objectives, and targets adopted herein during Phase 2 of the waste planning process.


 



[1] Residential waste only.  Business and institutional waste is expected to grow by an estimated 30 per cent.

[2] Exceptions include residential hazardous wastes and special wastes managed by local vendors and manufacturers under the City’s Take It Back program and Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) programs.

[3] For example, of 651 website respondents, 171 indicated that they do not place margarine tubs in the blue box.  Of those, only 19 indicated it would be easy to add it to their diversion routine.  Similarly, of the 169 that said they do not place milk cartons in the blue box, only 25 indicated it would be easy to do so in future.  Further work is needed to determine if these results are merely a reflection of buying habits and how respondents interpreted the survey, or of barriers in attitudes or other matters that inhibit increased diversion.