Apologies for Cross-Postings
"Kerry Meydam" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 17:53:09 -0400
Solid Waste & Recycling Magazine ? Canada:
Ontario Zero Waste Coalition
On June 11, 2008 at the MWIN Zero Waste conference in Niagara
Falls, Ontario, a new advocacy group announced its formation: the Ontario
Zero Waste Coalition (OZWC).
The newly formed coalition, made up of member non-governmental groups
from across Ontario, intends to lobby the government and educate the
public about adopting Zero Waste strategies that could see waste
diversion rates climb from current municipal averages of 20 to 45 per
cent to more than 90 per cent. The coalition formed after several
grassroots groups came together to discuss more sustainable ways to
address waste. The group decided the implementation of Zero Waste
initiatives are the most cost-effective and environmentally sustainable
"It's time for Ontario to look at best practices from around the
world and start employing successful methods to decrease the amount and
toxicity of waste that's generated," says Liz Benneian of president
of Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, a member group of
In addition to province-wide recycling and composting initiatives to
divert waste, more product stewardship programs are needed to keep many
kinds of products and packaging out of the municipal waste stream in the
first place, she adds.
The Ontario Zero Waste Coalition would like to see:
1. Legislation passed that removes toxic ingredients from the
manufacturing of products. These pose a threat during a product's use and
end up in waste (and, ultimately, the environment). Europe, the group
points out, already has such legislation in place.
2. Regulation to further reduce packaging and packaging waste.
3. Extended-Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws that make manufacturers of
goods fully responsible for recycling their goods once consumers are done
4. Enhanced "Take-It-Back" programs that are province-wide for
goods such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, computers, etc. Product
stewardship programs should not only fund waste diversion -- they should
inspire manufacturers to Design for the Environment (DfE).
5. A provincially-mandated program for the recycling of construction
waste and the strict enforcement of waste diversion laws for all
industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) waste ? which is
estimated as two-thirds of the waste stream.
6. Requirements for industry to pay 100 per cent (not a portion) of the
net cost of blue box recycling, product stewardship programs, and the
recycling or disposal of non-recyclable, non-compostable items. Why
should ratepayers fund end-of-life management for environmentally
The group plans to encourage an Ontario version of the municipal-led
product stewardship councils that are forming across North America to
promote Zero Waste. Examples include councils in British Columbia,
California, Oregon and Washington State, as well as a number of mid-west
states and Nova Scotia (which has Canada's highest provincial waste
diversion rate, above 70 per cent). In addition to towns and cities, many
companies are starting to take back their used products in separate
systems (e.g., Dell Computers, Sony).
Benneian notes that reducing waste and managing it in a sustainable way
through the adoption of Zero Waste principles is part of a global effort
that's gaining momentum.
"Just recently, the town of Oki in Japan made a declaration that it
will become a town that does not dispose of waste by incineration or
landfills by 2016. As part of their declaration, they stated, 'We
reviewed our wasteful lifestyle and decided that our town will not let
our children shoulder the debts.' I think the people and the government
of Ontario should be willing to make the same promise to their children
and grandchildren," says Benneian.
For more information about the Ontario Zero Waste Coalition contact Liz
Benneian at 905-257-0250 or via email at
Durham Environment Watch