Saskatoon to launch curbside organics program in 2023

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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan City Council recently voted in favour of a moderate phase-in of a curbside organics program and funding of existing waste services. Under the new program, a full-scale residential organics pick-up program will be in place in the City of 250,000 by 2023.

To pay for the organics program, property taxes will be increased incrementally over a four year period as follows:

  • 2020 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2021 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2022 – 1.0% Property Tax Increase – No change to current waste services.
  • 2023 – 0.93% Property Tax Increase – First year of curbside organics program. New waste service level (bi-weekly collection in summer).

This organics program attempts to balance financial investment with a view towards achieving the City’s waste diversion target. The first 1.53% (approximately $3 million) of the 2020 and 2021 Property Tax impact is solely dedicated to addressing the funding deficit in the Waste Program while the remaining estimated 2.4% will go towards a new curbside organics program. The City will continue to seek alternative funding sources on an annual basis to reduce this impact. Precise timing for the deployment of the curbside organics program in 2023 would be determined by the terms of the successful proposal from the organics RFP process.

In its report to City Council, the Administration stated that the implementation of a city-wide curbside organics program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the tonnes of organics that are landfilled. Reducing the amount of organics entering the landfill will also extend landfill life. The report stated that for each year without an organics program, between $1.1 million to $1.6 million in landfill airspace is consumed with materials that could be diverted.

“We will now focus on developing the implementation plan for the curbside organics program,” says Dan Willems, Acting Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer. “We look forward to providing this new service to residents in 2023 and making strides towards our waste diversion target.” 

Diversion Targets

The City of Saskatoon has a waste diversion target of 70% by 2023. In its report to Council, the City Administration was of the view that the target will not be met without significant resources being directed to diversion programs. The City Administration estimates that the curbside organics program in Saskatoon will result in an additional 13% waste diversion, subject to participation levels from residents. In order to meet the 2023 diversion target, the curbside organics program and other community waste diversion programs would need to be implemented by the end of 2023.

Analysis of the make-up of residential waste in Saskatoon

Saskatoon currently has an optional seasonal organics diversion program in place and has approximately 8,500 residential households participating. The program has seen greater than 10% growth over each of the last few years. This program currently diverts nearly 2,800 tonnes of material from the landfill annually.

The detailed report and all of its attachments can be found here

Europe Announces ban of Single Use Plastics and Extends Extended Producer Responsibility Programs

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The European Parliament recently agreed on the ambitious measures proposed by the European Commission to ban selected single-use products made of plastic as well as introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) for new products.

The new rules are an attempt to lesson marine pollution by plastic and abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.

Once the rules are in place, cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, sticks for balloons that are made of plastic will be banned in the European Union (EU).

The new rules also ban cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic. Oxo-degradable plastics are made of petroleum-based polymers(usually polyethylene (PE)) that contain additives (usually metal salts), which accelerate their degradation when exposed to heat and/or light. The argument for banning oxo-degradable plastics is that they are similar to conventional plasticmaterials but have artificial additives. They do not actually biodegrade but merely fragment into small pieces and potentially harm the environment and endanger recycling and composting operations.


While often confused with biodegradable plastics, oxo-degradables are a category unto themselves. They are neither a bioplastic nor a biodegradable plastic, but rather a conventional plastic mixed with an additive in order to imitate biodegredation.

The new rules include EPR schemes for cigarette filters and fishing gear.
Producers of cigarettes with filters (the filters are not biodegradable) will help cover the costs of waste management and clean-up. Producers of plastic fishing gear will be required to cover the costs of waste collection from port reception facilities and its transport and treatment. They will also cover the costs of awareness-raising measures.  Producers will also be given incentives to develop less polluting alternatives for these products

Single-use drinks containers made with plastic will only be allowed on the market if their caps and lids remain attached. Also, the diversion target for plastic bottles was set at 90% by 2025. One method to achieve the high diversion rate is deposit refund schemes.

The rules on Single-Use Plastics items and fishing gear, addressing the ten most found items on EU beaches place the EU at the forefront of the global fight against marine litter. They are part of the EU Plastics Strategy – the most comprehensive strategy in the world adopting a material-specific lifecycle approach with the vision and objectives to have all plastic packaging placed on the EU market as reusable or recyclable by 2030. The Single-Use Plastics Directive adopted by the European Parliament today is an essential element of the Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan as it stimulates the production and use of sustainable alternatives that avoid marine litter.

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, added: “Once implemented, the new rules will not only prevent plastic pollution, but also make the European Union the world leader in a more sustainable plastic policy. The European Parliament has played an essential role in laying the foundation for this transformation and in giving a chance to the industry to innovate, thus driving forward our circular economy.”

The Single-Use Plastics Directive voted on by the European Parliament today tackles directly marine litter thanks to a set of ambitious measures:

  • A ban on selected single-use products made of plastic for which alternatives exist on the market: cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, sticks for balloons, as well as cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.
  • Measures to reduce consumption of food containers and beverage cups made of plastic and specific marking and labelling of certain products.
  • Extended Producer Responsibility schemes covering the cost to clean-up litter, applied to products such as tobacco filters and fishing gear.
  • A 90% separate collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 (77% by 2025) and the introduction of design requirements to connect caps to bottles, as well as target to incorporate 25% of recycled plastic in PET bottles as from 2025 and 30% in all plastic bottles as from 2030.

The proposed Directive follows a similar approach to the successful 2015 Plastic Bags Directive, which brought about a rapid shift in consumer behavior. The EU claims that , when implemented, the new measures will bring about both environmental and economic benefits. The economic benefits claimed by the new rule implementation include €22 billion in avoidance of environmental damage by 2030 and €6.5 billion to consumers in savings in the form of reduced waste treatment by public authorities.

Next steps

Following this approval by the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers will finalise the formal adoption. This endorsement will be followed by the publication of the texts in the Official Journal of the Union. The Member States will then have two years to transpose the legislation into their national law.

British Columbians and Nova Scotians are Canada’s best recyclers

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Written by John Mullinder, Executive Director, The Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council

Nova Scotia might have the country’s highest diversion rate as a province (44%) but British Columbians recycle more as individuals.

Diversion rate per person by province

An analysis of the latest data from Statistics Canada shows that the average British Columbian diverted 377 kilograms of waste in 2016. That’s 60 kilograms more than the average Nova Scotian and twice as much as people living in Saskatchewan. The average Canadian diverted 263 kilograms of waste, the equivalent of about one heavy (50 pound) suitcase a month.

The “waste” includes used paper, plastic, glass, metals, textiles, organics (food scraps), electronics, tires, white goods such as fridges and appliances, and construction, renovation and demolition materials like wood, drywall, doors, windows and wiring.

There are some interesting differences between Canada’s two waste diversion leaders. Nova Scotia’s population is quite concentrated within a relatively small area compared to British Columbia, which would seem to give the waste diversion advantage to Nova Scotia. BC’s recycling results, on the other hand, are spread more broadly and thus less reliant on major tonnage diversion coming from just one or two material streams.

For example, while paper and organics are the major material streams diverted in each province, there’s a marked difference in their relative contribution to the provincial total. In British Columbia, paper recycling and organics diversion represent about one-third of the total each. But in Nova Scotia, organics recovery alone is responsible for over half (53%) of the province’s resulting diversion. Without that substantial diversion of organics, Nova Scotia would slip down the provincial rankings.

The data thus indicate opportunities for improvement as well: for BC to boost its organics diversion (it’s currently ranked  third behind Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in organics diversion per person) and for Nova Scotia to focus more attention on collecting materials other than organics (for example, it’s ranked sixth out of the eight reporting provinces in diverting paper).

Of course, better data, particularly on the industrial, commercial and institutional (IC & I) side would help. We believe that the diversion of paper in Nova Scotia is significantly higher than the Statistics Canada numbers indicate.

Diversion Rate for BC and NS
StatsCan Data



This article is republished with the permission of the author. It was first published at PPEC website.


About the Author

John Mullinder the Executive Director of the The Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPPEC), a national trade association representing the environmental interests of Canada’s paper packaging industry. He has over 25 years progressive experience in environmental and sustainability issues. He is the author of Deforestation in Canada and Other Fake News (2018), The Inconvenient Truth about Packaging Waste in Canada (a selection of blogs written between 2010 and 2018).

Zooshare Biogas Co-operative receives $2.7 million in funding

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Zooshare Biogas Co-operative recently announced it has received a multi-year grant of $2.67 million from the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), as part of the Low Carbon Economy Fund.

The government funds will support the construction and operation of the Zooshare anaerobic digester that is being built at the Toronto Zoo. It will enable Zooshare to double the processing capacity of feedstock which will consist of animal waste from the Toronto Zoo and organic waste from nearby grocery stores.

With this grant in place, Zooshare will continue with its plans to complete construction this year and reach commercial operations in Spring 2020.  Zooshare will also begin the planning work related to the facility’s expansion, which would include adding a second digestion tank and the necessary equipment to clean and inject renewable natural gas (RNG) into nearby pipelines.

About Zooshare

ZooShare is developing North America’s first zoo-based biogas plant. The anaerobic digester will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and local food waste into renewable power for the Ontario electricity grid. This process will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and will return valuable nutrients to the soil in the form of a high-quality fertilizer.

The ZooShare mission is to be a catalyst, through education and investment, in the growth of community-owned biogas plants. The Co-op’s business model also creates investment opportunities that keep energy dollars in the local economy.



B.C. Waste Organics Management Facility Fined $300,000 over Odour issues

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Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. recently agreed in British Columbia Provincial Court to pay a $300,000 fine for violating the Metro Vancouver Regional District’s air quality bylaw on two dates in November 2016.
The two $150,000 fines are the biggest in Metro Vancouver history.

Source of Problem

Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd  entered the organic waste management business in Metro Vancouver in 2009, when it purchased Fraser Richmond Soil and Fibre, which had largely handled landscaping waste since 1993.

Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. received a $5 million grant from the federal Clean Energy Fund to help bankroll its high solids anaerobic digestion facility. It got another $2 million from Metro Vancouver for improvements and $500,000 plus a $1 million loan from the provincial government in 2012.

When in full operation, the composting and anaerobic digestion facility turned region’s organic waste (i..c, curbside collected organic waste as well as leaf and yard waste) into clean, renewable electricity and high quality compost. Statistics for the facility were as follows: 

  • Over 200,000 metric tonnes of organic materials processed per year;
  • 6,500 mWh of clean, renewable electricity generated; and
  • Over 180,000 cubic yards of top quality soil products generated per year.

Odour became a major problem at the Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. facility after the district banned food scraps from landfills in 2015. the company began accepting more organic waste and odours emanated from open air windrows.

Compost Windrows at the Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd facility, November, 2016.

In 2017 the City of Richmond stopped sending its organic waste to Harvest and chose to divert it to Delta-based Enviro-Smart Organic.

Why did the Facility Close Down?

The operation in Richmond that had consisted of both compositng and anaerobic digestion was shuttered in 2018. At the time the shut down of operations were announced, Stephen Bruyneel, a company spokesperson, stated it was due to regulatory uncertainty. Mr. Bruyneel told the Richmond News that Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. was not willing to make multi-million dollar facility improvements amidst uncertainty surrounding its air quality permit, issued by Metro Vancouver.

In September 2016, Metro Vancouver issued a four-year permit to
Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. on the condition it must take measures to mitigate odours and is bound by new enforcement guidelines.

One odour-mitigation measure in the permit was a new Covered Aerated Static Pile (CASP) Composting System that was to be in place by April, 2019. In the August closure announcement, the company stated it was not willing to install the CASP Composting System.

Another condition in the air permit that the company decided was untenable was the “odour measurement” system listed as a condition. The condition stated that Metro Vancouver employees would determine if odours from the impacting sensitive receptors. The company claimed it was method was unscientific.

Payment of the Fine

Harvest Fraser Richmond Organics Ltd. declared bankruptcy in 2018 and is now under creditor protection. At the time it declared bankruptcy, the company’s accounts payable totaled over $1.6 million. Creditors included a several environmental consulting firms an analytical laboratory.

Ray Robb, Metro Vancouver’s manager of air quality of enforcement, doubts the fine will be paid due the creditor protection the company is still in.

Mr. Robb said Metro Vancouver was to charge the company with dozens of counts of pollution, which carried fines of up to $1 million per day. The district had evidence of pollution from Sept. 1, 2016, to Nov. 16, 2016, as well as the two days noted in the settlement. However, it was decided to pursue charges for only two days in November as it was the day that environmental officers were in the field collecting evidence and coincided when there were many complaints from neighbours and meteorological conditions were stable.

The settlement stipulated that Metro Vancouver allow the company to change its name to 00891775 B.C. Ltd., which the provincial court system will register when posting the Feb. 22, 2019, court order.

P.E.I.’s WTE Facility undergoing Major Upgrades

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As reported by the CBC, The federal government is contributing $3.5 million to upgrade and expand a 35-year-old waste-to-energy system in Charlottetown owned by Enwave Energy Corporation. 

Enwave operates the system, which provides 125 buildings, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (which is across the street), with thermal energy from composted waste.

The upgrade will include a larger furnace, the addition of a heat recovery boiler, and advanced air pollution controls.

The feedstock to the facility will be black bin waste from Kings, Queens, and Prince counties. The heat generated from the combustion of the waste will be used to steam.

As reported by the CBC, Charlottetown MP Sean Casey stated: “It will divert an additional 23,000 tonnes of organic waste from the regional landfill, reduce landfill methane emissions, increase annual energy production and reduce fuel oil consumption for the Charlottetown District Energy System.”

Funding for the Project

According to the General Manager of Enwave in P.E.I., Dave Godkin, the budget for the project is in the order of $37 million dollars.

Partial funding for the upgrade comes from the Canadian governments Low Carbon Economy Fund. Enwave will cover the anything not covered under the government grant.

The $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) is an important part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (the Framework). The Fund supports the Pan-Canadian Framework by leveraging investments in projects that will generate clean growth, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet or exceed Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments.

Projects approved under the LCEF have to have to meet the following criteria:

  • create jobs for Canadians for years to come
  • deliver clean, sustained growth
  • support innovation
  • reduce energy bills

Upgrades

“This plant is 35 years old and 35 years ago it was seen as ahead of its time and visionary, and probably now not so much,” MPP Casey said. “This is a major upgrade. Right now, in here, what is being burned is household waste, wood biomass and petroleum.”

With the upgrades, the facility will reduce the amount of burned petroleum and increase burning of household waste, Casey said.

“This facility basically was at capacity, this announcement here today is great news because what we can see from Island Waste Management’s perspective is, burnable waste, or waste that can be used at an expanded facility like this will be transported from the western part of the Island into the capital region.”

The company has been looking at ways to improve the system and reduce oil consumption, said Dave Godkin, general manager for Enwave in P.E.I.

Extending the Landfill Life, Reducing GHG Emissions

Gerry Moore, CEO of Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC), said the black box waste that will be diverted to the Enwave facility will increase the lifespan of the landfill located in Wellington.

Aerial view of the IWMC Landfill (Photo Credit: IWMC)

At the moment 25,000 tonnes a year of waste is being burned at the Enwave facility. After the upgrades to the facility, the company hopes the upgrades will help double that. Supplanting oil as the fuel with waste will result in the percent of oil used at the facility from 20 percent to five percent.

Through the life of the project it could, on average, reduce CO2 (equivalent) emissions by 75,000 tonnes a year, Godkin said. The greenhouse gas reductions (GHG) would be realized by diverting waste from landfill. Methane gas, a GHG, is generated at at landfills when the organic matter in the waste degrades under anaerobic conditions.

Work on the expansion is expected to begin next year with the aim of having it complete by 2022.

New Composting Facility Planned on Vancouver Island

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As reported in the Campbell River Mirror, Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) is considering two properties as potential locations for an organics composting facility. The project picks up on work started by the City of Campbell River, British Columbia, which had applied for a grant that was unsuccessful back in 2015.

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service is a function of the Comox Valley Regional District, a community of 66,500 people located within an area of 1,725 square kilometres on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material annually and oversees a number of diversion and education programs for the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). 

CSWM uses three service providers for private curbside garbage and recycling pickup services:  Emterra Group, Progressive Waste Solutions, and SunCoast Waste Services.

The Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Plan targets a 70 per cent waste diversion rate for the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service area by 2022, and the greatest remaining opportunity to meet this target is the diversion of food waste from the waste stream.

CSWM has been partnering with the Village of Cumberland and the Town of Comox to pilot an organics collection program as part of the region’s commitment to reduce the amount of food in the waste stream.

CSWM Leaf and Yard Waste Composting Operations

CSWM adopted the organics composting project from the City of Campbell River and received an Infrastructure Canada grant in 2017 for a regional site. That year, Infrastructure Canada announced funding of $5.5 million for the facility, with the remaining $2.77 million of the then-$8.3 million project to be funded locally. A recent consultant’s report estimated the costs now would likely be just over $12 million because additional tonnage capacity proposed for the facility and increasing construction costs.

Part of the rationale for siting the operation in Campbell River is to take advantage of “back-haul” opportunities, by filling trucks from Campbell River with garbage for the landfill in the Comox Valley and bringing trucks back with organics from the Comox Valley for the Campbell River facility, once the landfill in Campbell River closes and garbage is taken to the regional site in the Comox Valley.

The area identified in the application in Infrastructure Canada for funding was at the Norm Wood Environmental Centre, which has been providing wastewater treatment for the city since 1996, as the location for the organics facility, one reason being to cut down on transport costs.

As reported by the Campbell River Mirror, CSWM senior solid waste manager Andrew McGifford discussed details of the planned organics composting facility board members during a recent CSWM meeting. The project will be tendered as a design-build-operate (DBO) facility.

The location of the proposed facility will be either the Norm Wood Environment Centre or an location identified as “Block J” adjacent to the Campbell River Waste Management Centre, the current landfill west of the city.

Comox Strathcona Waste Management

Besides finding a site of the proposed composting facility and making preparations for a Requests for Proposal of a DBO operation, the CSWM has also been in seriously considering the use of waste-to-energy as an option for management of waste in the future. In 2018, the CSWM board approved two directors and one senior staff person to tour a Sustane Technologies facility while in Nova Scotia. Sustane Technologies Inc. is a cleantech company has developed a processes to transform municipal solid waste into high value fuels and recyclable materials. 

Pressure Mounts on Canada to sign global ban on shipping recyclables

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As reported by the Mia Rabson of The Canadian Press, there is increasing pressure on Canada by environmental activists and Asian nations to sign on to an amendment to an international treaty that would fully ban developed countries like Canada from shipping hazardous waste, including recyclables, to the developing world.

The Basel Convention amendment was proposed more than 20 years ago but Canada’s objection to it is resurfacing as the Philippines continues to press Canada take back more than 100 containers filled with mislabeled waste that were shipped to Manila in 2013 and 2014 labelled as recyclables.

The Basel Convention, adopted by all countries except the United States and Haiti, puts limitations on shipments of hazardous waste, and requires the destination country to be made aware of the contents of the waste and agree to receive it.

In 1995, an amendment was proposed to take the Basel Convention even further, and outright ban all shipments of hazardous waste — with or without consent — including waste intended for recycling. The belief was wealthy countries were avoiding the Basel Convention by labelling things as recycling. Canada has never agreed to it and still won’t.

At least three-quarters of the parties to the original convention have to agree to the amendment, and only two more countries need to say yes for it to be adopted. Debate about the amendment will again be on the agenda as countries meet about the Basel Convention in Switzerland in April.

“Canada, like other Basel Parties such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand for example, has not signed the amendment because the government believes that there are positive consequences to environmentally sound recycling and recovery operations,” wrote Environment Canada spokeswoman Gabrielle Lamontagne in an email.

That makes no sense, says Kathleen Ruff, founder of rightoncanada.ca, an online human rights advocacy site. “Why on Earth can we justify shipping it all the way around the world to poor countries that can’t deal with their own waste anyway?” she said.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Trudeau on February 11, 2019, Canadian and international environmental, health and human rights organizations call on Prime Minister Trudeau to:

  • Ensure the expeditious return to Canada of 2,500 tons of wastes illegally exported from Canada and dumped in the Philippines, as required by the Basel Convention.
  • Ratify the Basel Ban amendment, which  would prohibit the export of hazardous waste for any reason from more developed countries to less developed countries. The amendment was put in place by an initiative of the developing and European countries and needs the support of only two more countries to come into effect. Canada is one of only 24 eligible countries that have not supported the amendment.

In 2013 and 2014, 103 containers arrived in ports in Manila from Canada, labelled as plastics for recycling, but upon inspection Filipino authorities discovered they were filled with household garbage, including adult diapers, food waste and discarded electronics. Except for a few of the containers that were illegally disposed of, most of the containers remain in quarantine in the ports.

Then Customs Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno (2nd left) inspects on February 10, 2014 one of 50 container vans containing tons of garbage that are being kept on hold at the container port in Manila. The shipment from Canada was declared as plastic scraps but contained household trash instead. 

A Filipino court ordered Canada to take the garbage back, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised during visits to the Philippines in 2015 and 2017 to deal with the issue. A bilateral working group was established last fall and meetings are to take place in the next few months.

When the shipments were sent, Canadian regulations applied the Basel Convention rules only to waste Canada considered hazardous. Lamontagne said that changed in 2016, so Canada now applies the convention to waste considered hazardous in the destination country. Lamontagne said that means the containers in the Philippines would be prohibited today.

However, Ruff noted the containers would still end up in the Philippines because they were labelled as recycling. They would only be barred if Canada adopted the amendment, she said.

For several decades, countries like Canada and the United States have found it cheaper to flatten plastic garbage into pallets and ship them across the ocean to Asian countries where companies buy the material and hope to recycle it for resale.

Ruff notes many of those nations don’t have sophisticated waste-management systems.

In 2017, the journal Environmental Science and Technology estimated that nearly 90 per cent of the plastics found in the oceans is believed to come from just 10 rivers in Africa and Asia.

Credit: Amanda Montañez; Source: “Export of Plastic Debris by Rivers into the Sea,” by Christian Schmidt et al., in Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 51, No. 21; November 7, 2017

Aileen Lucero, the national coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition of the Philippines, wrote an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister early this year. In the letter, Ms. Lucero stated: “The dumping of Canadian waste in the Philippines is immoral and illegal.”

“The dumping of Canadian wastes in the Philippines is immoral and illegal,” organizations, including IPEN and Basel Action Network, said in a statement to Trudeau Monday. “It is a violation of Canada’s obligations under the U.N. Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. Yet, despite making promises, Canada has failed to take action.”

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is fond of citing a statistic that the equivalent of a truck full of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute around the world. She is pushing Canada to eliminate plastic garbage entirely by 2040. But that would require much of the plastic produced to be recycled.

PureCycle Technologies finds Partners to Accelerate its Revolutionary Plastics Recycling Process

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PureCycle Technologies, headquartered in Chicago, recently announcing it has partnered with global industrial manufacturer, Milliken & Company, and the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé S.A., as it moves forward with plans to open its first plant to restore used polypropylene (PP) plastic to ‘virgin-like’ quality with a revolutionary recycling method.

PureCycle’s patented recycling process, developed and licensed by Procter & Gamble (P&G), separates color, odor and other contaminants from plastic waste feedstock to transform it into virgin-like resin. Milliken, whose additives will play a critical role in reinvigorating recycled polypropylene, has formed an exclusive supply relationship with PureCycle to help solve the plastics end-of-life challenge. Nestlé is working with PureCycle to develop new packaging materials that help avoid plastic waste, in line with the company’s commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

“These partners are helping us accelerate as we bring this solution to the market,” said Mike Otworth, CEO of PureCycle Technologies. “This is a validation of our method, and it will help us continue to move even more quickly as we make plastics recycling a reality.”

Bringing both consumer market knowledge and technical expertise, Milliken and Nestlé help PureCycle work towards delivering the world’s first virgin-like recycled polypropylene. “The use of Milliken’s additives will help to ensure that PureCycle’s Ultra Pure Recycled Polypropylene (UPRP) is of the highest quality and adds the maximum value to brand owners and consumers. We believe that this partnership will further differentiate PureCycle as both a leading reclaimer and producer of polypropylene,” continues Otworth.

“Milliken understands that creating a sustainable future requires meaningful collaboration with other industry pioneers,” said Halsey Cook, president and CEO of Milliken & Company. “We believe PureCycle’s technology combined with Milliken’s leading plastic additives provide a transformative opportunity to elevate the viability of recycled polypropylene and help solve the plastics end-of-life challenge.”

With technology licensed from P&G, PureCycle is in the midst of building the first plant in Lawrence County, Ohio, that will recycle 119 million pounds of polypropylene, producing over 105 million pounds per year starting in 2021. The momentum created by these new relationships is enabling PureCycle to open the plant’s feedstock evaluation unit, which processes multiple variations of feedstock (waste polypropylene) to optimize plant 1 and subsequent plants.

Today, about 20 percent of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is commonly used to make plastic bottles and other consumer goods, is recycled. By contrast, less than 1 percent of polypropylene plastic is currently recycled. PureCycle is the first company to solely focus on recycling and reintegrating polypropylene upstream to highly sensitive consumer product applications, which are used in food and beverage packaging, consumer good packaging, automobile interiors, electronics, home furnishings, and many other products.

PureCycle Technologies will make high-quality, recycled PP widely available for purchase across industries. This technology demonstrates P&G’s commitment to sustainability and helps in achieving P&G’s recycling goals – doubling the use of recycled resin in plastic packaging and ensuring 90 percent of product packaging is either recyclable or programs are in place to create the ability to recycle it. PureCycle’s technology supports P&G’s vision of using 100 percent recycled or renewable materials and having zero consumer waste go to landfills.

Post-consumer plastic recycled using traditional methods (left) and using PureCycle’s process (right)

“Our approach to innovation not only includes products and packaging, but technologies that allow us and others to have a positive impact on our environment. This technology has the capacity to revolutionize the plastics recycling industry by enabling P&G and companies around the world to tap into sources of recycled plastics that deliver nearly identical performance and properties as virgin materials in a broad range of applications,” said Kathy Fish, Chief Research, Development and Innovation Officer, Procter & Gamble.

Image Source: P&G

The global polypropylene market is valued at more than $80 billion, according to Transparency Market research, and is on track to reach $133.3 billion by 2023. The Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) has identified 1 billion pounds of recycled polypropylene demand in North America alone. The majority of that demand is for ‘high-quality’ recycled polypropylene, APR has said.

Consultations begin on Ontario Electronic Stewardship’s Wind-Up Plan

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The Ontario Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) is consulting with stakeholders and the public on Ontario Electronic Stewardship’s (OES) Wind-Up Plan for the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Program. Public comment on the 85-page OES Wind up Plan will be accepted by the RPRA until April 18th.

Background on the Ontario Electronic Stewardship

Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES) is an Industry Funding Organization (IFO) designated to operate the waste diversion program for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) under the Waste Diversion Transition Act, 2016 (WDTA). Since its inception in 2009, the WEEE program has diverted over 67 million electronic devices or over 500,000 tonnes of waste electronics from Ontario landfills. The WEEE program promotes the re-use and refurbishment of waste electronics and ensures that the valuable resources found in waste electronics, that cannot be re-used, are processed and recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

Why is OES being wound up?

In 2016 the Ontario legislature passed the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) which creates a new legislative framework for managing waste in Ontario. Current waste diversion programs and related IFOs, such as Ontario Electronic Stewardship, will be wound up subject to provisions under the WDTA. Under the RRCEA, producers will be responsible for the implementation of new waste diversion programs that must meet recycling targets and objectives established under that Act.

Under the WDTA wind up process IFOs are required to develop wind up plans in accordance with specified statutory requirements once directed to do so by the Minister. Subsection 14 (13) of the WDTA requires IFOs to consult with stewards, municipalities and other stakeholders affected by termination of the program in developing wind up plans. IFOs submit wind up plans to the Resource Recovery and Productivity Authority (RPRA) which reviews and approves the plan if it is consistent with the Minister’s direction and statutory requirements.

In February 2018, OES received direction from the former Minister of Environment and Climate Change to wind up the WEEE program by June 30, 2020. (Note: In July 2018 the Honourable Rod Phillips, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, assumed responsibility for administering the RRCEA and WDTA statutes.)

What’s Next in Ontario with respect to WEEE?

After wind up, electrical and electronic equipment will be managed under a new, mandatory individual producer responsibility (IPR) framework. This means that producers of electrical and electronic equipment will be responsible for ensuring their products and packaging are collected and reused or recycled at end-of-life. The RPRA is mandated by the Government of Ontario to oversee the wind up of Ontario’s current waste diversion programs and enforce IPR requirements.

Public Information and Feedback Sessions

The RPRA is hosting several sessions to present key elements of the plan for feedback and to answer any questions you may have. The sessions are open to all WEEE Program participants, municipalities, the public and other interested stakeholders.

The RPRA is encouraging all interested organizations and persons to attend to learn more about the wind-up, the new framework for electrical and electronic equipment.

The sessions consist of a presentation that will explore key aspects of OES’s proposed wind-up plan and there will be time for your questions. The Authority will also consult on OES’s revised projection for program surplus, which is based on information that was not available at the time of OES’s consultations.

The schedule for public consultations can be found in the table below.

LocationDate and TimeRegistration
WebinarThursday, March 21
1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Register here
LondonFriday, March 22
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Register here
Ottawa (Kanata)Wednesday, April 3
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Register here
North BayThursday, April 4
9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Register here
TorontoTuesday, April 9
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Register here
WebinarWednesday, April 10
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Register here

Feedback on the Wind-Up Plan is due by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. You can provide feedback via email to consultations@rpra.ca.