The City of Ottawa manages solid waste from approximately 370,000 households[1] and 425 non-residential establishments (small businesses, schools etc.). It provides curbside collection services, including Blue/Black Box, source separated organics (Green Bin and leaf and yard waste) and garbage, to approximately 252,000 curbside households, as well as providing collection services for Blue/Black Box, source separated organics (Green Bin and leaf and yard waste) where applicable, and garbage, to approximately 118,000 high density households.


The City also hosts several one-day Household Hazardous Waste drop-off events throughout the year, which allows residents to drop off hazardous household wastes, including items such as paint, motor oil, propane cylinders, medications, fertilizers, pesticides and pool chemicals. A total of 13 events are scheduled for 2011.


The Yellow Bag program provides businesses who generate waste similar in volume and composition to that of a residential property the option of participating in the program. The program offers curbside collection of blue and black box, source separated organics and garbage. Currently there are approximately 260 businesses registered in the program. 


The Take It Back! program is a voluntary stewardship program that provides residents the option to safely dispose, recycle or reuse unwanted consumer products, instead of sending them to the landfill.  There are over 600 retailers participating in the program, which accepts a wide range of materials including electronics, garden supplies, automotive and health products.


The City is also currently involved in a number of initiatives aimed related to sustainable waste management, including:


·         Green Bin in Schools program (pilot);

·         Waste diversion at City facilities;

·         Recycling containers for special events; and

·         Developing a Green Procurement Policy.


Service delivery of City-provided waste management services is not uniform across the city.  Furthermore, at various times it has been suggested that the City expand or reduce the types of land uses and agencies it serves.  A clear policy framework is needed to define who the City will and won’t service, with the rationale developed in consultation with affected stakeholders.  Similarly, the cost recovery methods to be used for servicing different customer groups require examination and clearly documented policies.




The City relies on a mix of public and private infrastructure to deliver its waste programs, as follows:


·         Collection - a fleet of approximately 115 trucks to collect material, some of which are owned and operated by the City;

·         Processing – three (3) privately owned and operated processing facilities – one for paper and cardboard, one for glass, metals and plastics and one for organics; and

·         Disposal – the City owns and operates the Trail Road Landfill, which has a total capacity of 17 million cubic meters of airspace. Based on current disposal rates and maintaining the status quo (assuming waste disposal at the same rate as 2010), it is estimated that the facility has a site life of 24 years[2].


The City also owns another landfill, Springhill, which is currently operated by a third party. The facility primarily receives construction and demolition waste from Eastern Ontario. Based on current disposal rates, the facility is expected to close as early as 2018[3].


In 2005, the City entered into a partnership with Plasco Energy Group for the construction of an 85 tonne/day facility at the former Nepean Landfill, with the intent to construct a 400 t/d facility should the plant prove environmentally and economically viable.  Negotiations for the full-scale plant have been underway for several months, but with no firm agreement at this point.  It is fair to say, however, that there is a good potential for energy from waste in the future management of solid waste in the city.


In addition to the waste management infrastructure owned by the City, there are a number of privately owned waste management companies operating in the Ottawa. These companies provide collection, process and disposal options to the IC&I sector.


[1] City of Ottawa 2009 WDO Datacall Submission

[2] Trail Road Landfill Site Report for the 2010 Monitoring and Operating Program, May 2011, Dillon Consulting

[3] Annual Report, 2010 Springhill Landfill Site, May 2011, Tomlinson Waste Management Inc.