and Council / et au Conseil
Submitted by/Soumis par : Nancy Schepers, Deputy City Manager/Directrice municipale adjointe, Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability/Services d 'infrastructure et Viabilité des collectivités
That Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council:
Que le Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement recommande au Conseil :
Ontario has moved forward with extended producer responsibility-based waste diversion programs over the past few years, but there are challenges associated with the waste diversion framework, the programs initiated, and the WDA itself. Many feel that it is time to reflect on the approaches Ontario has taken, and will take, related to waste diversion. The Ministry issued a Discussion Paper titled, “From Waste To Worth: The Role of Waste Diversion in the Green Economy, Minister’s Report on the Waste Diversion Act 2002 Review” to facilitate this discussion and review.
The purpose of this report is to obtain Committee and Council endorsement of the City of Ottawa’s official submissions to the Ontario Government’s review of the Waste Diversion Act and to provide information on the City’s approach to waste diversion, give an overview of the Act and the new directions the provincial government is moving in.
Ontario is proposing to adopt a zero waste vision to help reduce waste, increase diversion, and build a greener economy and more sustainable society. A zero waste approach focuses on redesigning products and processes to reduce waste before it is made, as well as designing products for greater re-use. Zero waste has been incorporated into the policies and strategies of governments, advocacy groups and businesses around the world as a goal to work towards. Adopting a zero waste vision represents a strategic shift in how we think about the products we produce and consume.
This review of the Act provides an opportunity to present the vision of zero waste as a goal and discuss how the City of Ottawa can make concrete steps in that direction today to take advantage of the opportunities that the zero waste vision presents and improve our waste diversion framework. To facilitate public and stakeholder input on how to improve our waste diversion framework, the Ministry has prepared a discussion document entitled Review of Ontario's Waste Diversion Act, 2002: Discussion Paper for Public Consultation. In the Discussion Paper, the Ministry proposes that the first steps in striving towards zero waste should be built upon four key building blocks:
1. A clear framework built upon the foundation of Extended Producer Responsibility.
The City of Ottawa’s Integrated Waste Management Master Plan (IWMMP) was approved by Council in 2003 and updated in 2004 and 2005. It is rooted in the hierarchy of waste and waste management as illustrated below. The first principle is to ‘reduce,’ with individuals, businesses and institutions rethinking their consumer and disposal habits and manufacturers acting as stewards for waste packaging and other materials. The second principle, reflected through the City’s blue, black and green bin programs, is that waste with residual value such as containers, paper or organic material, should be removed from the waste stream and processed for reuse, thereby displacing the need to extract equivalent natural resources from the environment and lessening environmental impacts of human consumption and waste.
Hierarchy of Waste and Waste Management Approved by Council
The directions within the Discussion Paper, especially with regard to preserving landfill capacity and Extended Producer Responsibility, are consistent with the IWMMP’s goals. These Council approved goals include:
The Ministry of the Environment hosted a public consultation session at City Hall on December 17, 2009, and staff from both the City’s Environmental Services Department and Solid Waste Operations Branch were in attendance along with Councillor Qadri, representatives from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and several local communities, and a small business representative.
Feedback from this consultation period will help determine policy direction for the Ministry relating to the review of the WDA, strategic waste management directions and Ontario's zero waste vision. The discussion document facilitates continued public and stakeholder consultations on the Ministry's review of the WDA. The Ministry encourages all interested parties to reflect on their experiences and provide feedback.
In order to meet the timeline for submissions, staff forwarded a letter to the MOE on February 1, 2010 endorsing the joint submission by AMO, the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and the Municipal Waste Association, as the City of Ottawa’s draft submission pending Council’s final approval. With Council’s endorsement, this document will be officially submitted as part of the City of Ottawa’s comments.
Submissions contained in Document 1 encourage the Provincial Government to clarify the concept of diversion under the Act by recognizing that materials, such as metal, glass and ash recovered through various waste management techniques, including thermal treatment, should be counted as diversion.
Further, if also endorsed by Council, Document 2 proposes the City of Ottawa submit that alternative waste management technologies, such as the Plasco system currently being tested in partnership with the City of Ottawa, be categorized as diversion under the amended Act.
Document 2 submits the definition of diversion should be expanded to include all waste converted to gas using alternative waste management technologies, such as Plasco. The benefits of converting waste to gas to energy in a clean, efficient manner represent tremendous environmental and economic benefits. This technology represents reuse of waste and the conversion of waste to worth. As such, the document proposes that the Plasco waste management system should be considered diversion under the amended Act.
Alternative Solid Waste Payment Regimes
On November 10, 2009, during budget discussions, Planning and Environment Committee Members directed staff to conduct an analysis of alternative solid waste payment regimes designed to increase levels of recycling and waste reduction, and to report back to Committee in time for budget discussions in 2011.
A discussion paper, “From Waste To Worth: The Role of Waste Diversion in the Green Economy, Minister’s Report on the Waste Diversion Act 2002 Review”, was issued in October 2009. After reviewing the Discussion Paper, the scope of possible changes and the potential impact these changes may have on the residential and commercial waste streams and the associated funding, staff concluded it would be premature to undertake this analysis at this time. The variables proposed in the Discussion Paper would leave findings and recommendations on alternative payment regimes vulnerable to being obsolete or running counter to the Province’s waste management policies in the very short term.
As a result, staff recommends the best course of action is to make submissions on the review as outlined above and examine alternative payment regimes after the Waste Diversion Act is amended.
There are no rural implications.
There are no legal/risk management impediments to implementing the recommendations in this report.
The directions within the Discussion Paper are consistent with the Solid Waste and Environment Priority objectives to: “Reduce residential dependence on landfill/dumps by 30 per cent within 1,000 days” and “Extract value from our waste by a predetermined dollar amount.”
This report has no financial implications. Council’s acknowledgment of the City’s position could potentially result in reduced Solid Waste Management program costs for the City and its taxpayers due to increased Extended Producer Responsibility.
Document 1: Letter from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and the Municipal Waste Association, dated February 1, 2010, to the Ministry of Environment.
Document 2: Letter from the City’s Environmental Services Department dated February 25, 2010, to the Ministry of Environment.
Environmental Services Department will submit Council’s endorsed comments to the Minister of the Environment.
February 25, 2010
Please accept the following as the City of Ottawa’s submissions on EBR #010-8164 as approved by Ottawa City Council on February 24, 2010.
The City of Ottawa adopts the Joint Submission of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and Municipal Waste Association (attached) as its comments on EBR #010-8164 – Waste Diversion Act Review.
Further, the City of Ottawa asks that alternative waste management technologies, such as the Plasco system currently being tested in partnership with the City of Ottawa, be categorized as diversion under the amended Act.
The City of Ottawa submits that converting waste to gas to energy in a clean, efficient manner represents tremendous environmental benefits.
The City of Ottawa submits that the Plasco technology represents reuse of waste and the conversion of waste to worth and, therefore, the Plasco system should be considered diversion under the amended Act.
Dixon Weir, P.Eng.
Environmental Services Department
Marilyn Journeaux, Manager, Solid Waste Operations