Ontario proposes new hazardous and special products waste regulation

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The Ontario government recently issued a draft regulation for hazardous and special products that would require producers of hazardous and special products, such as paints, pesticides, solvents, oil filters, antifreeze and pressurized containers, to collect, manage or promote the recycling or proper disposal of these products at end-of-life.

Description of proposed regulation

The proposed regulations puts more responsibility of producers for the waste generated from their products and packaging.  It also envisions waste as a resource that can be recovered, reused and reintegrated back into the economy.

The proposed regulation for hazardous and special products (HSP) would require producers to:

  • establish free collection networks for consumers
  • manage all collected hazardous and special products HSP properly, including meeting procedures for recycling, where possible, or disposal
  • provide promotion and education (P&E) materials to increase awareness
  • register, report, provide audited/verified sales data, keep records and meet other requirements
  • require producers to transparently reflect any related charges that are intended to be passed on to consumers.

Key principles of the proposed regulation

Under a producer responsibility model for waste diversion, costs would be shifted from municipalities and taxpayers to producers that can better control costs through influence over:

  • the types of products and packaging put into the marketplace
  • the materials used to make products and packaging
  • how the products and packaging are collected and managed at end-of-life

This model would encourage producers to find new and innovative ways to reduce costs and improve the environmentally responsible management of materials.

The proposed regulation is based on the following principles:

1. Improving Environmental Outcomes:

  • ensuring HSP is collected and managed at end-of-life in a safe and environmentally sound manner to keep harmful substances out of the environment and protect human health
  • providing a robust, convenient collection network across Ontario so that consumers can easily drop off their HSP for recycling or proper disposal
  • increasing waste diversion, recovering resources from products that are currently being lost to landfills, and reducing the use of virgin raw materials

2. Reducing costs and burden for businesses:

  • providing producers of HSP with increased flexibility for how they collect and manage their products at end of life or meet regulatory obligations
  • allowing producers of HSP to contract with other organizations in order to meet their regulatory obligations
  • encouraging a sustainable system for industry and consumers by lowering costs, promoting consistency and ensuring ease of access
  • enabling producers to develop and implement innovative and cost-effective approaches while still ensuring HSP are collected and managed properly

3. Supporting economic growth and innovation:

  • reducing taxpayer burden by shifting responsibilities and costs related to the collection and management of HSP to producers and using non-government oversight and compliance
  • encouraging a sustainable system for industry and consumers by lowering costs, promoting consistency and ensuring ease of access
  • providing producers of HSP with the flexibility to develop HSP collection and management systems in a cost-effective manner
  • supporting competition, innovation and better product design

Implementation and governance

The current Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program is scheduled to end on June 30, 2021.  Ideally for the Ontario Government, that regulation will be replaced by the proposed Hazardous and Special Products producer responsibility regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA). The new regulation is expected to be fully in effect on July 1, 2021, subject to all necessary approvals being obtained.

The Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA) would be responsible for:

  • overseeing the proposed scheme, including the compliance and enforcement activities related to the proposed regulation
  • collecting data through its online Registry to oversee and assess performance
  • posting Registry procedures on its website to further clarify producer obligations

 

Proposed regulation details

The Ontario government is seeking input on the draft proposed Hazardous and Special Products regulation. The sections below summarize key elements of the draft proposed Hazardous and Special Products regulation. For full details, please review the draft proposed regulation which is attached under “Supporting materials”:

  1. Defining responsible persons
  2. Designated materials
  3. Management requirements
  4. Promotion and education
  5. Collection and consumer accessibility
  6. Registration, reporting and auditing

Defining responsible persons

The proposed regulation sets out a methodology for identifying producers who would be subject to the requirements under the regulation. This ensures that the person with the closest connection to the designated products is made the responsible producer.

The draft regulation proposes the following hierarchy to determine producer responsibility:

  • the first person responsible would be the brand holder who is resident in Canada and whose HSP are supplied to Ontario consumers
  • where no brand holder is resident in Canada, then the first importer of HSP into Ontario and who is resident in Ontario
  • where no importer is resident in Ontario, then the person who is resident in Ontario who first marketed the HSP
  • where no marketer is resident in Ontario, then the person who is not a resident in Ontario who first marketed the HSP; this would include retailers who are out-of-province and who supply HSP to Ontario consumers through the internet

This producer hierarchy would not apply to either fertilizers or mercury-containing devices, such as thermostats, thermometers and barometers, where the Ontario government is proposing to only obligate brand owners – and not importers or marketers – as brand owners would be in the best position to oversee the implementation of a P&E program for fertilizers or the management of mercury-containing devices.

To reduce burden, the Ontario government is proposing to exempt producers that supply a relatively small quantity (weight) of HSP into the Ontario market from all requirements under the regulation , except for recordkeeping requirements, if their supply of HSP is less than or equal to the product-specific minimum thresholds, as defined in the proposed regulation.

Designated materials

The proposed regulation would transition the products managed by the current Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) program, with the addition of mercury-containing devices (i.e. thermometers, barometers and thermostats). The proposed regulation sets out four (4) defined categories of HSP, where each category includes different HSP as well as different responsibilities that the producers of the HSP must undertake:

  • Category A Products include oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers. Producers of these products would have consumer accessibility requirements, P&E requirements, management targets, and would have to properly recycle or dispose of any Category A products that are collected.
  • Category B Products include antifreeze (including factory-fill antifreeze), empty oil containers, paints, pesticides, solvents and refillable pressurized containers. Producers of these products would have consumer accessibility requirements, P&E requirements, and would have to properly recycle or dispose of any Category B products that are collected. The ministry is proposing to exempt propane that is marketed in refillable pressurized propane containers from collection, management or P&E requirements in recognition of their long lifespan (refilled and reused for many years) and existing closed-loop collection system for these products. The government continues to seek input and feedback to better understand the current management and recovery of these products and implications if these products were to be exempt from regulatory requirements.
  • Category C Products include mercury-containing devices, including thermostats, thermometers and barometers. Obligated producers of these materials would have P&E requirements and would be required to properly recycle or dispose of Category C products, if collected by municipalities or other permanent depots or at HSP collection events.
  • Category D Products include fertilizers. Producers of these materials would have P&E requirements aimed at encouraging consumers to use up or share fertilizers.

The Ontario government is proposing that producers of Category A Products and Category B Products would be subject to registration, reporting and auditing/data verification requirements. Producers of Category C Products (i.e. mercury-containing devices) and Category D Products (i.e. fertilizers) would be required to register and report annually.

At a future date, the ministry intends to consult on what additional products could be added in subsequent phases of the regulation.

Management requirements

The proposed regulation requires producers of Category A Products, including oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers, to meet management targets. These targets set out a minimum amount of HSP that producers need to collect and recycle, calculated based on the weight of these HSP sold into the marketplace, multiplied by the management percentage stated in the proposed regulation.

Only HSP processed by registered processors that meet defined standards and is sent to an end market within the performance period would count towards meeting a producer of Category A Product’s management target.

The proposed regulation would prohibit a producer from satisfying the management target by adding the weight of HSP that is land disposed.

Producers of the other categories of HSP would not be subject to management targets. However, producers of Category B Products and Category C Products would still be required to properly manage (i.e., recycle or dispose) any HSP that they collect or receive.

Promotion and education

The proposed regulation requires producers of Category A and Category B Products to implement promotion and education programs to:

  • raise consumer awareness about the producer’s efforts to collect, recycle or properly dispose of HSP
  • encourage public participation in those efforts

Producers of Category C Products would be required to implement promotion and education programs to inform the public that mercury-containing devices can be returned to municipal depots, select non-retail collection sites and collection events.

The government is also proposing that producers of Category D Products (i.e. fertilizers) be required to implement promotion and education programs to:

  • educate consumers that unused fertilizers without pesticides are typically not hazardous waste and should not be brought to municipal HSP depots or events
  • encourage consumers to alternatively use up or share any leftover fertilizer so that there is no leftover residual product to be managed

To support transparency and protect consumers from potentially misleading or inaccurate information, the Ontario government is proposing that sellers who impose a separate charge in connection to the sale of HSP be required to communicate:

  • who imposed the charge
  • how this separate charge would be used by the seller to collect, recycle or properly dispose of HSP

Consumer accessibility

The proposed regulation would require producers of Category A Products and Category B Products to establish and operate a robust, convenient collection network, including both collection sites and events, for consumers to return their HSP at end of life, free of charge. The regulation would set consumer accessibility requirements based on municipal population size and/or number of retail locations to ensure there are collection locations throughout the province, including northern and rural areas as well as Indigenous communities, while also providing producers with flexibility on how they may establish their system.

The proposed regulation would allow for a variety of options that producers can use to satisfy their consumer accessibility requirements. The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) continues to consider how to design an approach that would support an equitable number and distribution of permanent collection locations (for example, return-to-retail and municipal depots) and collection events. Producers can reduce their required number of permanent sites by implementing alternative collection options, such as call-in “toxic taxi”, mail-in, curbside collection services, or additional collection events. In addition, the MECP is considering an option which would allow producers to offset their required number of collection sites or events in certain municipalities with collection sites or events implemented in other municipalities where collection sites exceed the minimum regulated requirements. This could allow for greater flexibility for producers to use existing sites to offset requirements for establishing new sites and reduce burden. The MECP is considering appropriate conditions to limit the application of offsets to ensure that Ontarians will still have convenient access to collection options. This proposed option is not reflected in the draft regulation which accompanies this posting.

The proposed regulation would include service standards for the various collection options (e.g. hours of operation, types and amounts of materials to be collected) to ensure a level playing field in the service provided.

Producers would have 18 months to establish their collection network and obtain MECP approvals where necessary, while they would be required to maintain the current number of collection sites and events in each municipality, and current service levels.

The MECP recognizes that environmental compliance approvals (ECAs) are required for collection sites in order to receive certain types of HSP (e.g. oil filters, antifreeze, oil containers, solvents and pesticides). Through a separate process, the ministry intends to consider ways to streamline approval requirements by proposing and consulting on amendments to Ontario Regulation 347 (General – Waste Management), made under the Environmental Protection Act, that would make it easier to implement collection sites for HSP that is destined to be sent to a recycling or proper disposal facility.

Registration, reporting and auditing

The proposed regulation would require producers of all categories of HSP, voluntary organizations, producer responsibility organizations and certain service providers (i.e. haulers, processors and waste disposal companies) to:

  • Register with the Authority. The proposed regulation sets out the information to be registered and the timelines for submitting information.
  • Keep records that relate to the accepting, storing, handling, transferring, processing and disposing of HSP in Ontario.
  • Submit reports through the Authority’s Registry. The draft proposed regulation sets out each party’s reporting obligations, including contents of the reports and reporting frequency. Producers would have the option of having another organization submit these reports on their behalf.

In order to reduce burden, the Ontario government is proposing that collection site operators (e.g. municipalities and retailers) do not need to register and report to the Authority, although they would still be required to keep records related to HSP at their site.

The proposed regulation would require producers to have an independent audit conducted annually by a certified accountant or verification via internal attestation to verify sales data.

Public consultation opportunities

The proposed regulation is posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Electronic Registry for comment until March 28th, 2021. The MECP will also hold consultation sessions in the coming weeks to seek stakeholder feedback and input on the proposed regulation.

 

Vitacore Industries launching Canada’s first single-use PPE recycling program

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In partnership with McMaster University and the University of British ColumbiaVitacore Industries Inc. has launched Canada’s first single-use mask and respirator end-to-end recycling program aimed at reducing the environmental impact of single-use PPE. The pilot program officially launched across Metro Vancouver in February and provides PPE recycling bins at long term care and urgent care facilities at no cost including City Centre Urgent and Primary Care Centre in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver Urgent and Primary Care Centre. This program provides front-line workers with the opportunity to recycle their single-use face masks and CAN95 respirators and will be expanded nationally to include bins across the country.

Once collected, the single-use masks and respirators are sterilized by Vitacore before being sent to McMaster University to be broken down and repelletized. Polypropylene, the plastic used in single-use masks and respirators, will be given a second life as construction materials to reinforce concrete or siding for buildings and reduce the amount of waste heading to landfills. Furthermore, to expand the possible uses for the repelletized materials, ongoing research is still being conducted by McMaster University.

According to Vitacore president Mikhail Moore, “Over 63,000 tons of Covid-19 related single-use masks and respirators will be used over the next year in Canada, significantly contributing to the pollution in our landfills and oceans. Vitacore is committed not only to providing the highest quality PPE to Canadians, but also to a sustainable future”.

“From product conception to point-of-use and disposal, we are developing a blueprint for maximizing sustainability in the life cycle of polyolefin-based PPE products.” Says Yang Fei, director, Research and Development at Vitacore.

“Environmental sustainability is one of the thematic pillars for research at McMaster’s Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM). This project illustrates the innovative approaches the centre is taking, along with partners such as Vitacore, to advance long-term sustainable use of PPE by the public and healthcare workers,” says Ravi Selvaganapathy, CEPEM’s director and Canada Research Chair in Biomicrofluidics. This month, CEPEM received $1.2M in funding from the Government of Ontario to expand its testing infrastructure and partnerships with Canadian companies, such as Vitacore.

 

Local resource recovery drives bioplastics standards globally

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Written by Jonathan Cocker, Partner, BLG LLP

The push to overhaul the use of conventional plastics with bio-based and/or biodegradable alternatives is supported by many multi-national companies, particularly in the various consumer goods industries.

Therefore, international standardization of the bioplastic packaging or (single use) product content is seemingly foreseeable, if not inevitable. However, recent legal initiatives looking into this previously unregulated sector suggest bioplastics specifications will be based upon actual recovery in the communities in which they are waste-managed, turning a global development into a very local concern.

European Union (E.U.) mandates performance proof for biodegradable plastics (BDP)

The European Commission (EC) has been actively investigating the value of bioplastics under various end-of-life processes in an effort to capture the actual movement of such materials within Europe. In December 2020, the EC issued Biodegradability of plastics in the open environment, containing recommendations by an independent scientific advisory group looking at the performance of BDPs where no dedicated processing (such as in-vessel composting) has been applied.

The recommendations constrain the promotion of BDP and require performance verification based upon the particular waste management environments in which they are processed. These recommendations include:

  • Supporting the development of testing and certification schemes evaluating actual biodegradation of BDP in the context of their application in a specific receiving open environment;
  • Required assessment of biodegradation and environmental risk of BDP under the conditions of specific open environments; and
  • Supporting the development of a materials catalogue and their relative biodegradation rates in a range of environments.

As the EC is aware from its ongoing assessment of compostable/biodegradable plastic packaging standard CEN 13432, processing of waste, even industrial composting activities, differs among E.U. members, making the “specific open environment” a domestic designation at best.

Japan places biomass at centre of bioplastics strategy

Similarly, Japan recently issued a Bioplastic Introduction Roadmap specifically tied to growth of “sustainable bioplastics” driven by a national plastic resource recycling strategy. The roadmap focuses on switching from fossil fuel to biomass-based polymers, specifically plant-derived inputs, reflecting the availability of local resources.

Manufacturers of products using plastics, such as containers and packaging, plastic shopping bags, electrical and electronic equipment, clothing, footwear, furniture and toys, are to introduce biomass content into their products, with the coincident growth of recycling infrastructure to match this material profile. Concerns over international compostability standards and certifications are secondary to Japanese resources and their recovery.

Canada looks at aerobic/anaerobic bioplastic performance

The country’s Zero Waste Plastic Initiative is funding an assessment of the performance of certain “compostable” bioplastics in both aerobic and anaerobic organic waste facilities, recognizing that plastic waste frequently contaminates organic waste streams, particularly residential source-separated “green bin” organics. In doing so, locally-demonstrated resource recovery is prioritized over international bioplastics standards:

While national and international certification standards exist, meeting those standards does not necessarily ensure that Compostables can be properly managed after reception of the source separated organics, including Compostables, at Ontario’s aerobic composting or anaerobic digestion facilities.

A similar study was funded last year by the EC and found the demonstrated value of compostable plastics in these processes to be “sparse and inconclusive”.

Bottom-up waste management over top-down product standards

While there are significant growth projections for bioplastics and plans for further standards developments, such as under the EU Circular Economy Action Plan 2020, obtaining product certification under an international regime will not necessarily mean acceptance in any domestic market. Instead, demonstrable performance of the bioplastic within existing local waste management infrastructure will ultimately be needed.

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About the Author

Jonathan Cocker, a Partner at BLG LLP, provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations.

Battery Recycling Program to Launch in Saskatchewan

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The Government of Saskatchewan recently launched a new recycling program for consumer batteries that will provide an option for people in various parts of the province to dispose of their household batteries in an environmentally responsible manner.

Launching January 1, 2021, the program is operated by Call2Recycle Canada Inc., a non-profit environmental stewardship organization that has been voluntarily collecting batteries in Saskatchewan for recycling since 1997.  Call2Recycle met all the regulatory requirements of a government-approved program under The Household Hazardous Waste Products Stewardship Regulations, 2019.

“This recycling program is a positive step for the environment and for the people of Saskatchewan,” Environment Minister Warren Kaeding said.  “Having a convenient and important program in place to keep batteries and other hazardous materials out of our landfills helps support provincial goals laid out in our Solid Waste Management Strategy.”

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Government of Saskatchewan for its commitment to battery recycling in the province,” Call2Recycle Canada, Inc. President Joe Zenobio said.  “Under the new regulation, Call2Recycle’s program will connect residents with many easily accessible and convenient battery drop-off locations across the province.  We encourage all residents to safely drop off their batteries at their nearest collection location to help create a more sustainable environment for generations to come.”

The program accepts used single-use and rechargeable consumer batteries (weighing less than five kilograms each), excluding lead acid batteries.  In partnership with municipalities and retailers, Call2Recycle has established convenient drop-off locations across the province for Saskatchewan residents, including in all SARCAN depots.

“We are excited for SARCAN’s 73 collection depots to be a part of Call2Recycle’s national network of battery collection sites,” SARC and SARCAN Recycling Executive Director Amy McNeil, said.  “Our team of SARCAN recyclers is ready to help the people of Saskatchewan divert even more hazardous materials from our land and waterways, which means protecting our environment for generations to come.”

As part of the new program, an environmental handling fee will be paid at the point of purchase effective January 1, 2021.  The fee rates range, depending on the size of battery and the chemistry type.  For example, fees for AAA and AA batteries are $0.02 and $0.04, respectively.

The fees will be paid to Call2Recycle for the collection, transportation and recycling of the batteries at their end-of-life. For the full fee structure and a map of drop-off locations, please visit https://www.call2recycle.ca/saskatchewan/.

Source: Province of Saskatchewan

Two Recycling Company CEOs make the Canadian Tech Entrepreneurs Watch List for 2021

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MaRS, a organization that help Canadian start-up companies frown into successful companies, recently released its list of the top 21 Canadian tech entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.  Included in the list are the CEO’s from two recycling companies – GreenMantra and Li-Cycle Corp.

Jodie Morgan, CEO, GreenMantra

Markets have been plagued by uncertainty this year, but cleantech investors can nevertheless rely on the proven practice of recycling materials into sustainable products, so says GreenMantra CEO Jodie Morgan. How fortunate, then, that Morgan and her Brantford company are one of Canada’s top post-consumer, post-industrial plastics recycling firms — morphing one of the most problematic innovations in history into things like asphalt shingles, wax and ink. As a member of MaRS Momentum, GreenMantra is also one of the country’s fastest-growing firms, with sales increasing so rapidly in 2020 that the startup expanded its manufacturing facility and doubled capacity.

What’s next: If “plastic is the new crude oil,” then Morgan and her employees are going to be busy well past next year. GreenMantra is working with petrochemical companies NOVA Chemicals and Inter Pipeline to develop new ways of enhancing asphalt. The positive environmental impact could be huge, particularly when you consider that 1,000 kilometres of paved road, for example, represents up to 2.7 billion plastic bags removed from a landfill.

Ajay Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle

As climate-focused initiatives become a bigger priority, homegrown companies are looking to contribute in their own unique way. “Canada aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and clean technology will play a massive role in this transition away from emissions,” says Ajay Kochhar, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle. Based in Mississauga, Li-Cycle recovers more than 80 percent of all materials found in lithium-ion batteries through their environmentally sound recycling plants.

What’s next: Having recently announced a Series C equity funding round, the company is looking to expand their services into the U.S. and open a commercial hub in New York.

Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy: Towards a Wasteless Future or a Wasteful Planet?

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Industry 4.0 and Circular Economy: Towards a Wasteless Future or a Wasteful Planet?
Written by Antonis Mavropoulos and Anders Waage Nilsen
Publishing September 2020

HOW THE MARRIAGE OF INDUSTRY 4.0 AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY CAN RADICALLY TRANSFORM WASTE MANAGEMENT—AND OUR WORLD

Do we really have to make a choice between a wasteless and nonproductive world or a wasteful and ultimately self-destructive one? Futurist and world-renowned waste management scientist Antonis Mavropoulos and sustainable business developer and digital strategist Anders Waage Nilsen respond with a ringing and optimistic “No!” They explore the Earth-changing potential of a happy (and wasteless) marriage between Industry 4.0 and a Circular Economy that could—with properly reshaped waste management practices—deliver transformative environmental, health, and societal benefits. This book is about the possibility of a brand-new world and the challenges to achieve it.

The fourth industrial revolution has given us innovations including robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D-printing, and biotech. By using these technologies to advance the Circular Economy—where industry produces more durable materials and runs on its own byproducts—the waste management industry will become a central element of a more sustainable world and can ensure its own, but well beyond business as usual, future. Mavropoulos and Nilsen look at how this can be achieved—a wasteless world will require more waste management—and examine obstacles and opportunities such as demographics, urbanization, global warming, and the environmental strain caused by the rise of the global middle class.

  • Explore the new prevention, reduction, and elimination methods transforming waste management
  • Comprehend and capitalize on the business implications for the sector
  • Understand the theory via practical examples and case studies
  • Appreciate the social benefits of the new approach

Waste-management has always been vital for the protection of health and the environment. Now it can become a crucial role model in showing how Industry 4.0 and the Circular Economy can converge to ensure flourishing, sustainable—and much brighter—future.

Source: Wiley Publishers

Terrapure and East Penn Canada recognized for closed-loop battery recycling solutions

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Terrapure Environmental® and East Penn Canada recently announced that they received an Environment + Energy Leader Award for Project of the Year for their closed-loop, circular-economy approach to lead battery recycling. The Environment + Energy Leader Awards is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits, and in projects implemented by companies that improve environmental or energy management and increase the bottom line.

East Penn Canada collects spent batteries from its customers and ships them to Terrapure to break the batteries down to their base components for recycling. Terrapure processes and refines the lead to East Penn’s specifications, and it is then returned to East Penn’s battery manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania for use in new batteries.

“This approach is a real win-win,” said Ross Atkinson, Senior Vice President of Battery Recycling at Terrapure. “It provides East Penn a closed-loop recycling process for their batteries, ensuring a beneficial reuse of a valuable commodity, while also helping preserve a finite natural resource. We’re proud to be recognized for our battery-recycling efforts.”

“Not only does Terrapure’s recycling process provide a circular-economy solution for a portion of East Penn’s lead batteries, it also takes 60 percent less energy to produce recycled lead, helping to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Mike Bouchard, President East Penn Canada.

While the overall caliber of entries was exceptionally high this year, judges agreed that East Penn and Terrapure’s closed-loop recycling process demonstrates impressive results. One judge noted: “Building a closed-loop circular-economy system is a significant challenge and expense. Great to see an investment that will impact a broad sector, since lead batteries are used in so many products, both consumer-focused and manufacturing/industrial. The entry provides multiple environmental management results, including preventing waste and promoting reuse, reduced energy consumption for production, and reduced waste to landfill.”

This is the fourth consecutive year Terrapure has been honoured with an Environment + Energy Leader Award. Previously, the company was recognized for its innovative centrifuge technology, its oil-recycling program and its innovative use of biosolids to remediate a mine site with Vale Canada.

“With rapid advancements and a near-constant rate of change in the field, sustainability and energy professionals had to prove to our judges that they were really the best of the best this year,” said Sarah Roberts, Environment + Energy Leader publisher. “With a highly respected – and critical – judging panel and a strict set of judging criteria, entrants faced an extremely high bar to qualify for an award.”

Terrapure receives approximately 10 million batteries annually and produces 125,000 metric tonnes of recycled lead per year, recovering 99 percent of batteries in Canada and diverting them from the landfill.

About East Penn Canada

East Penn Canada specializes in the distribution and safe recovery of lead batteries in Canada. East Penn Canada is headquartered in Ajax, Ontario and operates the largest Canadian distribution and recovery network supported by 17 fully stocked warehouses, a company owned fleet and over 300 employees of battery solution experts.

About Terrapure

Terrapure Environmental is a Canadian provider of essential environmental and industrial services for industrial, commercial and institutional customers, including those in the manufacturing, mining, municipal, oil and gas, pulp and paper, refining and petrochemical, transportation, and utilities sectors. Headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, the company employ approximately 2,000 people and operate an integrated network of over 70 locations across
Canada.

U.S.: Expansion of a New Mapping Tool For Managing Debris

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently announced the nationwide expansion of an interactive dataset that maps recyclers and landfills for the planning, response, and recovery of debris. This debris recovery tool has already proven valuable in training exercises and response activity to natural disasters.

“EPA is prepared to help communities more rapidly recover from natural disasters,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “EPA’s debris recovery tool will assist federal, state, local and tribal emergency personnel to quickly identify recycling, composting, and disposal facilities near affected areas that may be able to accept disaster debris.”

The expansion of the recovery tool was supported by the E-Enterprise Initiative that emphasizes collaboration and data sharing among EPA, states, and tribes. The recovery tool advances EPA’s goals of recycling and material recovery following natural disasters, such as hurricanes, and is one of several resources mentioned in EPA’s Planning for Natural Disaster Debris Guidance.

The recovery tool can also assist with debris management planning by identifying potential facilities before a disaster occurs, which can help communities recover faster. Better management of debris may reduce injuries, minimize or prevent the environmental impacts of mismanaged wastes and ultimately support compliance with environmental regulations.

Early adoption of the interactive tool in EPA’s Region 5 office has already led to successful disaster debris management planning for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and tornado response by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information on EPA’s debris recovery tool, visit https://www.epa.gov/debris-recovery-map.

For more information on EPA’s Planning for Natural Disaster Debris guide and managing materials and wastes for homeland security incidents, visit: https://www.epa.gov/homeland-security-waste.

For more information on the E-Enterprise Initiative, visit: https://www.epa.gov/e-enterprise.

For more information on EPA’s emergency response program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response.

Source: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Australian Government to directly invest $190 million on a Waste & Recycling Plan to Transform the Industry

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The Australian Government recently announced that it will commit $190 million to a new Recycling Modernisation Fund (RMF) that will generate $600 million of recycling investment and drive a billion-dollar transformation of Australia’s waste and recycling capacity.

The government claims that more than 10,000 jobs will be created and over 10 million tonnes of waste diverted from landfill to the making of useful products as Australia turbo charges its recycling capacity.

The RMF will support innovative investment in new infrastructure to sort, process and remanufacture materials such as mixed plastic, paper, tyres and glass, with Commonwealth funding contingent on co-funding from industry, states and territories.

Australia’s waste and recycling transformation is being further strengthened by an additional:

  • $35 million to implement Commonwealth commitments under Australia’s National Waste Policy Action Plan, which sets the direction for waste management and recycling in Australia until 2030.
  • $24.6 million on Commonwealth commitments to improve our national waste data so it can measure recycling outcomes and track progress against our national waste targets.
  • The introduction of new Commonwealth waste legislation to formally enact the Government’s waste export ban and encourage companies to take greater responsibility for the waste they generate, from product design through to recycling, remanufacture or disposal (Product Stewardship).

The moves are part of a national strategy to change the way Australia looks at waste, grow the economy, protect the environment and reach a national resource recovery target of 80% by 2030.

“As we cease shipping our waste overseas, the waste and recycling transformation will reshape our domestic waste industry, driving job creation and putting valuable materials back into the economy,” Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said in a recent news release.

Susan Ley, Australian Minister of the Environment

“Australians need to have faith that the items they place in their kerbside recycling bins will be re-used in roads, carpet, building materials and a range of other essential items.

“At the same time, we need to stop throwing away tonnes of electronic waste and batteries each year and develop new ways to recycle valuable resources.

“As we pursue National Waste Policy Action Plan targets, we need manufacturers and industry to take a genuine stewardship role that helps create a sustainable circular economy.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to remodel waste management, reduce pressure on our environment and create economic opportunity.”

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, said that the unparalleled expansion of Australia’s recycling capacity followed close consultation with industry.

“Our targeted investment will grow Australia’s circular economy, create more jobs and build a stronger onshore recycling industry,” Assistant Minister Evans said.

“Australian companies are turning plastics and household waste into furniture, decking, fencing and clothing, and we are developing new domestic markets for recycled materials by setting national standards for recycled content in roads and making recycled products a focus of procurement for infrastructure, defence estate management and general government purchasing.

“Our targeted investment will grow Australia’s circular economy, create more jobs and build a stronger onshore recycling industry.

“Companies are already moving with The Pact Group announcing a $500 million investment in facilities, research and technology, Coca-Cola Amatil committing to new recycling targets, and Pact, Cleanaway and Asahi Beverages establishing a $30 million recycling facility in Albury.”

Waste export ban to start from January 2021

The unparalleled expansion of Australia’s recycling capacity follows the 2019 National Waste Policy Action Plan, Australia’s government ban on exports of waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres, and this year’s first ever National Plastics Summit.

The waste export ban was due to commence on July 1st, 2020. After consulting with industry and as a result of restrictions related to COVID-19 impacting Parliament’s ability to pass legislation in by July 1st, the ban will now commence on January 1st, 2021. The schedule for implementing the export ban on waste plastic, paper and tyres remains unchanged.

 

 

Start-up receives $2.75M from SDTC to commercialize the manufacture of bioplastics from agricultural byproducts

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Sustainable Canada Technology Canada (SDTC) recently announced that it had granted $2.75 million to EcoPackers, a Canadian cleantech company that converts agricultural byproducts into 100 percent plant-based and compostable alternatives to traditional plastic inputs.

EcoPackers Leadership Team

Conceived by CEO Nuha Siddiqui during her time as president of the University of Toronto chapter of the social entrepreneurship club Enactus, Ecopackers is on a mission to reduce the world’s reliance on single-use plastics.

The Toronto-based company, developed with support from the Creative Destruction Lab, got its start manufacturing biodegradable packing peanuts made from agricultural byproducts. It has since expanded into producing eco-resins that can be used by manufacturers in place of plastic.

Unlike many existing bioplastics, Ecopackers’ resin is designed to be compatible with existing manufacturing technologies and processes.

“We were one of the only eco-focused companies out there that wasn’t going against the plastic manufacturers – we were actually trying to work with them to develop products that worked with their technology,” Siddiqui, a Rotman Commerce graduate, told U of T News.

The all-woman leadership team behind Ecopackers – which also includes chief technology officer Chang Dong and chief operating officer Kritika Tyagi – is now working on pilot products with manufacturers around the world.

About SDTC

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is a foundation created by the Government of Canada to support Canadian companies with the potential to become world leaders in their efforts to develop and demonstrate new environmental technologies that address climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil.