From: Aine Suttle <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 2004 12:11:24 -0400
Hopefully this will be an opportunity for us to lobby for a successful
program in Ontario and especially here in Toronto.
Apr. 5, 2004. 01:00 AM
Province to set 60% target for recycling
Dombrowsky to unveil plans today
Will seek input on ways to cut waste
QUEEN'S PARK BUREAU
The Ontario government is to announce today its goal of recycling 60 per
cent of the province's waste by 2008, the Star has learned.
In addition, Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky is to announce a review
of Ontario's troubled environmental assessment review process along with
greater co-operation with Ottawa to avoid duplication on environmental
Dombrowsky is to release a discussion paper next month asking for
suggestions on ways to boost recycling to 60 per cent, including
accelerating and expanding centralized composting, increasing the types of
products that can be recycled, and working with industry and municipalities
to find new markets for recycled materials, a ministry source said.
"She is quite confident that we will be able to hit that target."
For example, some parts of the province are recycling a lot more types of
plastics than others, the source said, pointing to the Quinte area in
Eastern Ontario as having a very successful plastics recycling program.
Dombrowsky recently visited a plant in Belleville that uses recycled plastic
for making flooring "and she came back from that really excited because they
can use all the plastic they can get their hands on, apparently."
There is now a patchwork of recycling programs across the province with some
municipalities being far more successful in diverting waste from landfill
sites than even neighbouring communities.
Guelph is one example where upwards of 60 per cent of the waste collected is
being recycled in one way or another, while Toronto has a relatively
underperforming Blue Box program.
The source said the government will also be using "moral suasion" to
convince industry to reduce packaging as well as to use more recycled
materials in that packaging.
Meanwhile, Ontario has been plagued for years with environmental assessment
review problems, particularly when it comes to expanding or establishing
Under the NDP in the early 1990s, the process ground to a virtual
standstill. But then the Conservatives came along in 1995, bringing in
so-called "scoped" environmental assessments, a quicker process, which
critics said was designed with the proponent in mind.
Dombrowsky is to appoint a 10-person expert panel to study the environmental
assessment review process with an eye to streamlining it, while still
addressing everyone's concerns.
There are some 14 proposed landfill sites on hold awaiting this review.
Paul Muldoon, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law
Association, welcomed the review with the reservation that "streamlining"
doesn't result in the public losing its voice.
Keith Carrigan, president of BFI Canada, the second largest waste management
firm in the country, said the current review process has "been troublesome
for everyone" and wants the rules to be clear.
He believes Ontario can achieve its goal of diverting 60 per cent of waste
from landfill, but says even then there are going to have to be more
landfill sites in heavily populated areas.
"Even if we recycle 60 per cent, the waste stream is going to continue to
grow ... and we are still going to require disposal facilities for the
remaining 40 per cent," he said.