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Ontario: Hazardous and Special Products Producers Reporting Deadline is January 31st

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Producers and producer responsibility organizations (PROs) of category A (oil filters and non-refillable pressurized containers), category B (oil containers, antifreeze, pesticides, refillable pressurized containers, solvents, paints and coatings) and category C (mercury-containing barometers, thermometers and thermostats) are required to submit a 2022 Interim Report to the Ontario Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority (RPRA) by January 31, 2022.

What information must be submitted in the 2022 Interim Report?

Category A and B producers

Producers of oil filters, oil containers, antifreeze, pesticides, refillable pressurized containers, non-refillable pressurized containers, solvents, paints and coatings are required to report the following information:

  • a list of all collection services provided, including collection sites, collection events, call-in collection services (call-in collection is only applicable to Large producers, see FAQ below to confirm if you are considered a large producer) and curbside pickup for the transitional period of October 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022
  • the name and contact information of each processor, hauler and disposal facility that is part of the collection and management system

Category C producers

All producers of mercury-containing barometers, thermometers and thermostats are required to report the following information:

  • a list of call-in collection services, and if applicable, collection sites and collection events that began as of October 1, 2021
  • the name and contact information of each processor, hauler and disposal facility that is part of the collection and management system

Working with PROs

Producers can enlist the services of a PRO to file this reporting (e.g. establishing and operating a collection and management system) on their behalf. The RPRA recommends that producers who have signed up with a PRO confirm with them directly that they will be submitting the 2022 Interim Report on their behalf. If you have not engaged the services of a PRO and wish to do so, you can find a list of PROs here.

Producers can also choose to establish and operate their own collection system. If you are establishing and operating your own collection and management system, you are required to send an email to [email protected] and a Compliance Officer will send you a template for completion. If you retained the services of a PRO after registering with the RPRA, you need to send an email to [email protected] indicating which PRO will be reporting on your behalf.

PROs submitting reports on behalf of producers

PROs who are reporting on behalf of their producer clients must use the 2022 Interim Reporting form that was sent to them by the Compliance and Registry Team.

About the Regulation

The Hazardous and Special Products (HSP) Regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act, 2016 (RRCEA) designates automotive materials (oil filters, oil containers and antifreeze), solvents, paints and coatings, pesticides, fertilizers, mercury-containing devices (barometers, thermometers and thermostats) and pressurized containers (non-refillable pressurized containers, refillable pressurized containers, refillable propane containers), under Ontario’s individual producer responsibility (IPR) regulatory framework.

As of October 1, 2021, following the wind up of the Municipal Hazardous or Special Waste (MHSW) Program operated by Stewardship Ontario on September 30, 2021, HSP producers are individually accountable and financially responsible for requirements set out under the HSP Regulation.

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.

Can-Am Recycling of Batteries Made Easier Under New Cross-Border Regulation

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by Jonathan Cocker, Baker McKenzie

The interprovincial and international movement of hazardous recyclable materials, such as used batteries, is already big business and will only grow in the coming years in North America. Internationally, no less than 99% of all (lawful) hazardous recyclables (and hazardous waste) exported from, or imported to, Canada are with the United States.

The coming restrictions under amendments to the Basel Convention will also strengthen and foster demand for North American-based hazardous materials recycling as transfers to developing countries will be increasingly prohibited. The soon-to-be-replaced Canadian legal regime governing flows of such materials, however, has not evolved to match the market opportunities.

What was the Problem?

For starters, there are two principal outgoing federal regulations regarding the movement of hazardous recyclables and hazardous wastes:

  • the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (Export and Import Regulations); and
  • the Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations (Interprovincial Movement Regulations)

These use different definitions of hazardous recyclables and hazardous wastes and mandate different movement documents, with neither adopting an electronic tracking system. The third hazardous waste law, the PCB Waste Export Regulations, 1996 set PCB concentration limits which rendered it incapable of facilitating exports to either the United States or elsewhere. As a result, there have been no PCB waste exports.

In short, a more commercially-responsive regime was desperately needed.

Growing International Alignment with New Cross-Border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations 

The new Cross-Border Movement Regulations, in final approval stages now with a 6-month lead time period to bring into force, combines the three regulations into one and adopts single definitions and processes for both interprovincial and international movements of hazardous recyclables and hazardous waste.

More notably, the Cross-Border Movement Regulation also seeks to harmonize the adopted definitions with accepted definitions in other jurisdictions (including the US) and international agreements. In other words, the international flows of hazardous recyclables and wastes no longer allow Canada to mainly uniquely domestic (if not parochial) practices.

Clarity on Battery Recyclables and Wastes Harmonizes Globally

The Export and Import Regulations did not expressly address used batteries, creating uncertainly as to which types must be treated as either hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material. Some types of batteries were clearly caught – but there was uncertainly around certain categories.

The Cross-Border Regulations clarifies that all types of batteries (both rechargeable and non-rechargeable) being shipped internationally or interprovincially for disposal or recycling are regulated. Further, this expanded inclusion of used batteries is consistent with international standards, allowing the battery industry to more easily include Canada in multinational strategies for the resource recovery of these materials, while adhering to increasing restrictions as to where such recycling can take place.

Regional Battery Recycling Hubs to Grow?

With a growing move away from locally-mandated recycling towards open international markets for the delivery of recycling and other resource recovery services, the changes under the Cross-Border Regulation affecting used batteries could not have come too soon.

Further, circular economy laws imposing individual producer responsibility on the battery industry may well now allow battery producers to consider regionalizing its used battery recovery operations to best capture economies of scale without the regulatory difficulties in Canada now addressed by the Cross-Border Regulations.

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The time is now for the North American battery industry to strengthen and extend their reverse supply chains across provincial /territorial boundaries and the US-Canadian border as the best available commercial strategy.

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This article has been republished with the permission of the author. It was first published in Environmental Law Insights.

About the Author

Jonathan D. Cocker heads Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of firm Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environment, health and safety matters, including product content, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, extended producer responsibilities and contaminated lands matters. He appears before both EHS tribunals and civil courts across Canada. Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on EHS matters, an active participant on EHS issues in a number of national and international industry associations and the recent author of the first edition of The Environment and Climate Change Law Review (Canada chapter) and the upcoming Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Chemicals chapter).

Canadian WTE energy scores big with the U.S. Military

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Anyone familiar with the procurement process for the U.S. Military can attest that it can be time-consuming and byzantine.  With the buy-America/America First politics that currently exists south of the border, the contract signed between PyroGenesis, a Canadian company based in Montrel, and the U.S. Department of Defence is nothing short of amazing.

PyroGenesis recently secured contracts with the US Military totaling US$509,000 for general ongoing upgrades and maintenance.  The company said that work on these contracts has already begun, and all the contracts will be completed by the end of the year (Q4-2018).

“These contracts are a further testament to the level of confidence military organizations have in our experience and expertise,” said P. Peter Pascali, President and CEO of PyroGenesis. “It further underscores our ability to perform to the highest standards, military standards, and this is serving us well as we expand our other business segments into industries which have similar exacting demands.”

P. Peter Pascali, President, CEO, and Director of PyroGenesis

The company’s APT torch is at the heart of its plasma waste processing and waste to energy technologies and have been deployed by the US Department of Defense. Developed initially as a solution for waste destruction and subsequent energy recovery, the plume from an APT can reach more than 5000 degrees C, making it excellent tool for the transforming of materials to value-added products.

The torch can be modified for uses with different gases and reach power levels ranging from 50 kW to 500 kW.

“More than 20 years of working with the military has provided us with the credibility few, if any, companies of our size have,” commented Pierre Carabin, Chief Technology Officer of PyroGenesis.

This is the latest contract with the U.S. military for the company.  In January 2018, the company announced it had signed a number of contracts with the U.S. military totaling US$218,000.  As of January 2018, the combined value of PyroGenesis contracts with the U.S. military were in excess of US$1.4 million.

Florida WTE Installation

PryoGenesis WTE Plasma System at Hurlburt Field, Florida

An example of the work performed by PyroGenesis for the U.S. Military includes a Transportable Plasma Waste-to-Energy System at the U.S. Air Force Base in Hurlburt Field, Florida.  The system became operational in 2010.  It can handle a mixture of Municipal, Industrial, Hazardous and Biomedical Waste at a rate of 3,100 metric tons per year.  PyroGenesis provided a turnkey delivery of the facility, including building and infrastructure, project manager, equipment provider, and a subcontracted operator of the facility.

About Pyrogenesis

Pyrogenesis designs, develops, manufactures and commercializes advanced plasma processes.  The company provides engineering and manufacturing expertise, contract research, as well as turnkey process equipment packages to the defense, metallurgical, mining, additive manufacturing (including 3D printing), oil & gas, and environmental industries.  Pyrogenesis employs engineers, scientists and technicians who work out of the company’s Montreal office and 3,800 m2 manufacturing facility,

The core competencies of PyroGenesis is providing innovative plasma torches, plasma waste processes, high-temperature metallurgical processes, and engineering services to the global marketplace. The company’s operations are ISO 9001:2015 certified, and have been ISO certified since 1997.

PyroGenesis Canada Inc. is  listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (Ticker Symbol: PYR), and on the OTCQB Marketplace (Ticker Symbol: PYRNF).