Ontario Government’s Proposed E-Waste & Battery Regulations

The Government of Ontario is consulting on proposed regulations for specified waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and used batteries under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016.
The new regulations will affect participants of the current Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program operated by Ontario Electronic Stewardship (OES).
The Ontario government has directed OES to wind up its operations to support the transition of the current waste diversion program for electronics to a new system that makes producers environmentally accountable and financially responsible for their products at end-of-life.

The proposed regulations would require:

  • producers to establish free collection networks for consumers
  • producers to achieve resource recovery (i.e. reduction, reuse and recycling) targets
  • producers to provide promotion and education materials to increase consumer awareness
  • producers and service providers to register, report and keep records and meet other requirements

The regulations would also encourage producers to reduce waste associated with the regulated products they supply into the Ontario market.

Review the draft regulations and register for a consultation webinar.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority will be the regulator mandated by the Government of Ontario to enforce the requirements of the new WEEE and used batteries regulations once they take effect.

Ontario Electronic Stewardship will continue to operate the current program without disruption until the proposed regulations take effect.

Sudbury Councillor’s Cash for Trash Plan

A municipal Councillor from the City of Greater Sudbury is offering an incentive of cash to persons that help clean up his ward. Under Michael Vagnini’s plan, he will pay one dollar of his own money for every 10 pieces of trash picked up in his ward.

Sudbury Councillor Michael Vagnini

There are several catches to his plan. First, the cash does not go directly to the individuals who participate in the program. The money will be donated to the local food bank. Second, the upper limit of the donation is $1,000.

The Cash-for-Trash plan isn’t Councillor Vagnini’s only financial compensation plan. In the winter, he was pushing for the City to establish an emergency pot compensation program.

For persons interested in actually receiving cash for trash, the most popular one and perhaps easiest is to trade in an end-of-life vehicle to a scrap car dealer. Depending on the vehicle, one can score anywhere from $100 to $600.

Lethbridge, Alberta may profit from Curbside Recycling

The City of Lethbridge, Alberta recently began a municipal curbside recycling program. Unlike many North American cities that were left in a bind after China refused their recyclables, Lethbridge has made sure that it has secure contracts with only Canadian and U.S. recyclers.

Lethbridge is located in southern Alberta and has a population of approximately 100,000. Lethbridge is southern Alberta’s commercial, distribution, financial and industrial centre,

The City wants to make the curbside recycling program a success. As such, it is focusing on quality control by providing on-going education and feedback to residents as to what is acceptable in the blue box. By limiting what can be put in the blue box, the City believes it will prevent the contamination and quality issues other municipalities are struggling with.

In Phase I of the curbside recycling program, the contamination rate in the blue box was less than 14%.  For city-wide roll out, the City will continue to focus on educating residents to only put clean, accepted material in their blue cart to maintain a low contamination rate.

As part of its public education campaign, the City created an on-line sorting game. Similar to popular video games, there are levels of acheivement

In an interview with Global News, Joel Sanchez, manager of waste and recycling with the City of Lethbridge said the start-up of the curbside recycling program has prompted companies to consider consider building recycling facilities in Alberta.

In conjunction with the curb-side recycling program, the City has built a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). The MRF will process, sort and bale the collected recyclables in preparation for marketing the materials. The MRF will be operated with both hand sorting and machinery sorting equipment.

The MRF will be capable of processing 8 tonnes of recyclable material per hour. It is owned by the City of Lethbridge and operated by a private contractor.

MRF under construction in 2018 (source: City of Lethbridge website)

There are also local companies that are involved in the recycling program. There is a local broker that will take care of metals collected in the blue bins. Also, there is an Alberta processor will handle all plastics.

Currently cardboard represents over 55% of the materials recycled, markets for cardboard are in North America, and current prices are favorable to encourage the recycling of this material.

Plastics represent 10-15% of the materials and currently are being recycled in local markets in Alberta. The City has used some of the recycled plastic in plastic lumber materials in parking lots and parks across the city. Research and new opportunities are currently being explored in North America to increase the recycling opportunities for plastics.

The City plans to use glass recovered at the recycling stations for different city projects, including as a base for City pathways.

Prior to the start-up of the curbside recycling program, Lethbridge residents could drop of recyclables at one of three recycling depots.

A March 2019 poll of Lethbridge residents found that almost 70 percent supported the curbside recycling program. The survey was conducted by the Citizens Society Research Lab.

NGIF’s $1.5 Million Cleantech Competition


The Natural Gas Innovation Fund™ (NGIF) recently announced a $1.5 million funding call to advance cleantech solutions in three strategic focus areas – energy efficiency; renewable gases (including renewable natural gas and hydrogen); and carbon capture – for natural gas distribution and end use industry in Canada.

NGIF is accepting submissions to its intake stage for funding requests to support new technologies and innovative approaches in the above three identified focus areas. We will make up to $300,000 in non-dilutive funding available per project in Canada, representing as much as 33 per cent of a project’s eligible expenses. The competition is open for small to medium enterprises and technology development start-ups in Canada and globally.

Interested applicants should download the Applicant’s Guide online and submit their investor deck at info@ngif.ca by June 17, 2019. More information on the Natural Gas Innovation Fund and how to apply can be found at www.ngif.ca.

The Natural Gas Innovation Fund™ (NGIF) was created by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) to support the funding of cleantech innovation in the natural gas value chain. It seeks to fill a technology development gap in the sector and invest in innovation enabling natural gas solutions for current and emerging challenges facing Canada’s energy system.

The existing portfolio of companies that have received NFIG funding include iGen Technologies, CHAR TECH Solutions, and NextGrid.

Global Glass Recycling Market Forecast


The glass recycling is a robust niche market that will be worth more than US$ 4.4 billion by 2025 according to a recent market study.

Based on revenue, clear cullet is likely to account for around 60% of the global recycled glass market in 2025. Clear cullet is manufactured generally from soda, beer and soft drink bottles, flat glass, as well as food packaging. The current recycling rates for glass bottles are between 50% to 80%, partly because of the significantly lower temperatures needed to melt recycled cullet compared to virgin cullet.

In 2018, the Global Glass Recycling market size was 2610 million US$ and it is expected to reach 4190 million US$ by the end of 2025, with a CAGR of 7.0% during 2019-2025.

The report on “Global Waste Recycling Services Market 2019” is a comprehensive accumulation of valuable and actionable insights. It provides an extensive assessment of the waste recycling services market, which embodies research on remarkable dynamics, such as key insights, market trends, opportunities, growth drivers, and challenges for the waste recycling services market. The report evaluates the size of the waste recycling services market in terms of value (USD Mn). The study focuses on leading players, supply chain trends, technological innovations, key developments, and future strategies.

It also offers accurate information to readers about the Global waste recycling services Market meant to help them in strategizing market moves based on the powerful insights about waste recycling services market.

The analysts at Market.us have analyzed the waste recycling services market segments, thereby, offering an explicit comparison between key market data, including the Y-O-Y growth, market share, revenue, and volume. The report also carries regional performance of waste recycling services market, dividing the market into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa.

Plastic Shopping Bag Ban Survey in Newfoundland and Labrador

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador recently announced it will become the second province to ban plastic bags. The provincial government introduced legislation in April allowing it to ban their use at stores and other retail outlets. The ban is not expected to take effect for up to a year, to give consumers time to get in the habit of bringing reusable bags.

In response, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) commissioned a random live telephone survey of residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and found that 55% of those surveyed oppose a ban on plastic shopping bags.

The CPIA survey found that 55% of residents from Canada most easterly province oppose banning plastic shopping bags when given information that three scientific studies conducted by governments in Europe and Canada prove that plastic bags are better for the environment than other alternatives.

The industry live-telephone survey collected the opinions of a broad selection of people from Newfoundland and Labrador.

The plastics industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on the government to embrace science and not make the anti-environmental choice to use paper bags.

“The findings of this survey couldn’t be clearer that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do not want a ban on plastic shopping bags when shown the science and they want the government to pursue a different approach,” said Joe Hruska, Vice President, (CPIA) in a news release. “Residents really don’t want a ban on plastic bags. Ninety-one percent of respondents indicated that they want the freedom of choice to practice the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. The survey also found that 63% want to be able to continue to reuse their bags to manage household waste and 81% already use reusable bags when shopping.”

Three recent independent scientific Life Cycle Analyses (LCA’s) studies conducted by three different governments – the United Kingdom1, Denmark2 and the Quebec3 Governments – all found that plastic shopping bags are better for the environment and have a much lower global warming potential than the alternatives. All three studies found that paper is the worst possible option environmentally because it has the highest carbon footprint and global warming potential.

Even the recently-released findings of the Newfoundland government survey show that a ban is not necessary and offers a different way to reduce bags that does not force adoption of carbon-intensive paper bags; one of the worst alternatives according to the three government LCAs. Paper generates seven times more carbon further burdening the island’s ecosystem.

The Newfoundland government survey report clearly shows that there is an alternative to a bag ban that would be less harmful environmentally; 86% in the government consultation said they would reduce their bag use if the province mandated a province-wide fee on the bag.

Both the Newfoundland Government and industry live-phone surveys found the same usage patterns for plastic bags — high adoption rates for reusable bags replacing conventional plastic bags (75% government adoption rate vs 81% industry survey) as well as a high reuse rate for plastic bags (72% in the government report versus 63% in the industry survey).4 The government report even goes one step further in support of plastic bags not presenting as a problem noting that “very few people throw them [plastic bags] out5“. Only 10% of respondents in the government survey support the use of paper bags.6

The plastics industry believes that the government’s interest in a ban on plastic shopping bags is all about public relations and politics and not science – wanting to look green pre-election. The government is deliberately avoiding serious environmental problems the province faces – windblown litter from landfills and the warming of the oceans affecting fish stocks.

The government has chosen to ignore the advice of an expert panel it convened in St. John’s last September. At that meeting, the expert panel explained that plastic bags are not a problem in Newfoundland and Labrador because they are such a tiny part of the waste stream, accounting for 0.2% of all waste (2/10ths of 1%). They advised that the main environmental problem the province faces is windblown litter from mismanaged municipal landfills because of the island’s windy climate7 and a ban will not solve this problem. The panel recommended that the province adopt modern baling systems which contain and bind the waste into cubes before it is placed in a landfill which prevents it from being blown around.

“You can ban plastic shopping bags,” Hruska pointed out, “but you will still have lots of windblown litter from municipal landfills.  If the province is serious about protecting the oceans around Newfoundland and Labrador, it would help municipalities put in place a new way to manage waste instead of blaming plastic shopping bags. Banning plastic and adding paper will only harm the island’s ecosystem.”

A Better Way to Protect the Environment

The plastic bag industry contends there is a better solution to reduce usage of conventional plastic bags and solve the island’s serious windblown litter and landfill management problems.

First, the government needs to embrace science and not make the anti-environmental choice to use paper bags. Second, they should mandate a province-wide bag fee, and third, work with municipalities to put in better landfill management systems to eliminate windblown litter.

This survey was a live-phone, random sample survey of 694 respondents with a margin of error of 3.7% 19 times out of 20. It was conducted by the full-service research and strategy firm, Campaign Research, from March 22-24th, 2019 on behalf of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA). Campaign Research Inc. is a Gold Seal Member of Canada’sMarketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA).

About the Canadian Plastics Industry Association 
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association is the national voice of the plastics industry in Canada, representing the interests of processors, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers and brand owners across Canada since 1943.

  1. U.K. Government LCA https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/291023/scho0711buan-e-e.pdf
  2. Government of Denmark LCA https://www2.mst.dk/Udgiv/publications/2018/02/978-87-93614-73-4.pdf 
  3. Government of Quebec  LCA https://monsacintelligent.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ENGLISH_FINAL-Quebec-LCA-Full-Report.pdf 
  4. Survey Report, page 3
  5. Survey Report, page 3
  6. Survey Report, page 3
  7. Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada’s windiest province often experiencing Category 1 or 2 Hurricane winds that make managing a landfill impossible. Environment Canada

SOURCE Canadian Plastics Industry Association

Enerkem secures $76.3 million in financing

Quebec-based Enerkem Inc., a global company specializing in producing biofuels waste, recently announced the closing of a new round of financing totaling C$76.3 million. The financing comes from Enerkem’s existing investors, as well as a new investor, Suncor Energy Inc.

This injection of additional capital will help foster the company’s growth by continuing the development of its other projects, including in Varennes, Québec, and Rotterdam, Holland.

Suncor, one of Canada’s largest energy companies, is joining Enerkem’s shareholders, comprising Braemar Energy Ventures, Cycle Capital, Fondaction, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Investissement Québec, National Bank of Canada, Rho Ventures, Sunkem, the Westly Group and Waste Management of Canada. In addition to its equity interest, Suncor will share technical resources to support acceleration of Enerkem’s growth.

Similarly, as part of this financing, the Government of Québec has increased its equity ownership in Enerkem by $13.3 million through the Fonds du développement économique.

“We are now in a period of sustained growth and beginning a landmark phase of our technology’s implementation, with the expected launch of our Varennes plant and our Rotterdam project,” said Dominique Boies, President and CEO (acting) and Chief Financial Officer, Enerkem. “Thanks to a strong core of public and private investors, Enerkem has developed a clean, one-of-a-kind technology for commercial use. We are proud of also having the Government of Québec’s support to be able to pursue our development projects in an emerging and promising sector that is helping to build the new economy.”

About Enerkem
Enerkem produces advanced biofuels and renewable chemicals from waste. Its proprietary technology converts non-recyclable municipal solid waste into methanol, ethanol and other widely used chemical intermediates. Headquartered in Montréal, Québec, Canada, Enerkem employs over 200 people. The company operates a full-scale commercial facility in Alberta, as well as an innovation centre in Québec. Enerkem’s facilities are built as prefabricated systems based on the company’s modular manufacturing infrastructure that can be deployed globally.

Ambitious Waste Diversion Plans proposed in Ontario’s Oxford County

As reported by the Woodstock Sentinel Review, the southwest Ontario municipality of Oxford County has ambitious plans to build a “waste-diversion facility” that could divert as much as 90 per cent of waste from landfill.

Oxford County is a regional municipality in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Southwestern portion of the province.

Oxford County Council were scheduled to review a report in April that outlines the options for location and funding for a Waste Recovery and Reduction Technology (WRRT) facility, which will reduce the amount of material entering landfills.

The goal of the facility is to divert as much as 90 per cent of material and extend the lifespan of the Oxford County landfill by more than 30 years – from 2063 to 2100, in keeping with expected population growth and the resulting increase in waste heading to the dump.

According to a report included in the council agenda, three potential locations have been identified for the facility: the Oxford County Waste Management Facility, the Ingersoll Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Woodstock Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Those sites were evaluated based on their size, the surrounding land use and the transportation capacity.

The goal of a waste recovery and reduction plant is to use more of what would traditionally end up in a landfill. Recoverable recyclables – the usual blue-bin materials – are included but so are items like food wrappers, large articles like sofas, and plastic toys, all of which would normally end up in a landfill. These products would be turned into biofuel at an out-of-county facility. Recyclables and organics would be treated much as they currently are and turned into reusable material.

The report on the Council meetings’ agenda also outlines options for funding and building the facility, which is expected to be designed to handle as much at 50,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Costing for the project depends on council’s directive regarding the capabilities of the facility, but ranges anywhere from $16 to $42 million. Staff presented eight different scenarios for the facility’s location and capabilities, each with different cost implications. The county is examining options for public-private partnerships for the building of the facility.

Council originally gave the directive to go forward with a waste recovery and reduction plan last summer. The facility is part of the county’s Zero Waste Plan, through diverting more material from landfills.

Council is expected to make a decision on the preferred plan at the May 8 meeting before deciding on a procurement option at the June 12 meeting.

Oxford County is known for its out-of-the box thinking when it comes to waste management. The new Oxford County Waste Management & Education Centre is a net-zero energy facility that uses an energy efficient building envelope and solar photovoltaic panels to completely offset the energy use of both the building and the rest of the landfill site. A real-world example of how buildings can be sustainably constructed and operated, the Education Centre includes demonstrations, resources and information to educate and inspire further sustainability initiatives.

The new Oxford County Waste Management & Education Centre is a cutting edge facility generating its own energy

Enviro-Corp Recycling to recycle glass from the Town of Innisfail, Alberta


The Town of Innisfail, a municipality of 7,000 in central Alberta, recently came to a glass recycling agreement with a British Columbia based company, Enviro-Corp Recycling.

Under the agreement, the town will pay Enviro-Corp $65 per tonne to recycle glass that residents drop off at the municipal transfer station.

At its regular meeting on April 11th, the town council voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Enviro-Corp Recycling to handle glass recycling needs.

Enviro-Corp Recycling is headquartered in British Columbia. It has been in business since 2008. The company recycles glass beverage containers for use in the glass bottle manufacturing industry.

The Enviro-Corp Recycling process includes color sorting, crushing and sizing as well as removing labels, aluminum and metal from the containers. The glass that leaves Enviro-Corp’s facility is furnace ready and needs no further processing before being melted down and made into new glass bottles.

Enviro-Grit made from recycled glass

Enviro-Corp Recycling is a division of United Concrete & Gravel Ltd, a company that began in 1977.

One of the products generated by Enviro-Corp Recycling is enviro-grit abrasives. This blasting abrasive is 100% crystalline silica-free and made from recycled glass. It is used for removing rust and most coatings on the surfaces of a variety of materials.

Heather Whymark, the town’s Director of Corporate Services, had been looking into finding a company to do glass recycling. Under the glass recycling agreement, Enviro-Corp Recycling will charge the Town $65 per tonne to recycle the glass. Currently, it is costing the Town $125 per tonne to dispose in a landfill.

As for the impact the new service will have on the town budget, Whymark said because the glass recycling cost, $65 per tonne, is half the $125 cost for waste removal, the town should be able to break even, at least in the first year.

At this point, the town considers the glass recycling arrangement to be a pilot project and its success will depend on the uptake by residents to dropping off glass for recycling at the town’s transfer station.

For Enviro-Corp, the Town of Innisfail situation between Calgary and Edmonton – two municipalities that they currently pick up glass for recycling.

BERQ RNG signs funding agreement with Suske Capital Inc.

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BERQ RNG, an Ontario-based company in the renewable natural gas sector, recently signed a funding agreement with Suske Capital Inc.. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies collaborate in the development of renewable natural gas projects.

The worldwide market for biogas expected to reach $35 billion in the next 5 years. In North America, there are only 2,000 sites producing biogas, compared to over 10,000 sites in Europe. North America has substantial future potential in the renewable natural gas space, as biogas flaring is a significant source of GHG emissions, and an opportunity exists to capture and condition this valuable resource.

BERQ RNG is positioning itself to be an important niche player in the North American RNG market. The company will have the ability to finance, design, build, and operate RNG systems.

The President and Chief Development Officers of BERQ RNG, Bas Van Berkel, has 20 years experience in developing infrastructure and energy projects including being a founder of StormFisher Environmental Ltd. He has a M.Sc. in civil engineering and a MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Suske Capital Inc. is a Canadian boutique private equity firm that invests in real estate, finance, emerging technology, alternative energy and healthcare.  Suske’s Capital’s main business is the developing and operating senior housing. The key focus of Suske Capital is value creation and the company has developed a reputation for earning industry-leading returns for its co-investment partners. The company takes an active-ownership approach by investing its own time, money and expertise to grow its portfolio companies.